Drive.ai Raises $50 Million

monkeymagick

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Drive.ai, another start-up in the burgeoning tech sector of autonomous self-driving cars raised an additional $50 million in funding for R&D following $12 million financed last year. The company with its group of about 70 computer scientists and engineers make kits for retrofitting cars currently on the streets, allowing it to be self-driven amongst the rest of us. Andrew Ng, one of the top AI researchers also joins the board of the company, who has previously stated that we shouldn't worry of our robot overlords just our wallets. Take it as you will, Ng is married to co-founder and president of the company.

Check out a rainy night test drive of their tech.

Drive.ai is a Silicon Valley startup founded by former lab mates out of Stanford Universityss Artificial Intelligence Lab. We are creating AI software for autonomous vehicles using deep learning, which we believe is the key to the future of transportation. We founded Drive.ai because we believe that this technology has the potential to save lives and transform industries, and we think this is the right team to do it.
 
Pretty snazzy. I wonder how reliant it is on maps/gps data and how it would fare out in the boonies. And will my car come with a giant red kill switch button installed in a cupholder? Where will I put my cocktail?
 
Looks like they have a pretty good start on the software... Sensors are going to be key though - as in fully redundant ones that also work in less than ideal conditions such as snow/fog and heavy rain. And AI software that knows how to deal with human idiocy located in other cars. Self driving cars will become the norm 10-15 years from now, but there are a ton of issues to overcome first and it isn't all just in the tech realm. Lots of legal hurdles, regulations, infrastructure changes, etc. Will definitely be a huge/disruptive change to the entire transportation industry. Think shared cars that you own a portion of that go off and become AI taxi's while you are at work instead of sitting in a parking lot all day doing nothing.
 
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At the end it seem the AI is dump enough to stay in the left lane all day long when the law is keep right except to pass.
 
Think shared cars that you own a portion of that go off and become AI taxi's while you are at work instead of sitting in a parking lot all day doing nothing.

I sure wouldn't want random people using my car, spilling their cola's and leaving piles of trash in it.

Do you really want people tagging your car or etching their initials on your windows? Just look at current mass (shared) transit busses & trains.

At least with current taxi's you have someone driving the car and discouraging the riders from making a mess or vandalizing it.

Unless you have multiple high res cameras inside (and outside) the car, how are you going to know who caused the damage?
Once they have Uber driverless cars available, I'd take multiple pictures inside and outside the car before I would take one anywhere.
That way I could prove the condition (and that any damage was already there), so I don't get charged for it.

It's already a good idea to do this on existing rental cars, as the rental companies will try and blame you for the any damage they missed last time the car was returned.
 
I sure wouldn't want random people using my car, spilling their cola's and leaving piles of trash in it.

Do you really want people tagging your car or etching their initials on your windows? Just look at current mass (shared) transit busses & trains.

At least with current taxi's you have someone driving the car and discouraging the riders from making a mess or vandalizing it.

Unless you have multiple high res cameras inside (and outside) the car, how are you going to know who caused the damage?
Once they have Uber driverless cars available, I'd take multiple pictures inside and outside the car before I would take one anywhere.
That way I could prove the condition (and that any damage was already there), so I don't get charged for it.

It's already a good idea to do this on existing rental cars, as the rental companies will try and blame you for the any damage they missed last time the car was returned.

You bring up some good points, but like I said, this will shake up the industry and the way folks interact with cars. Folks would be vetted - and identity confirmed via biometrics and their phones to gain access to a called up/available vehicle. It wouldn't just be the random GP hopping in to use your car. Nice cars will either cost more or require pre-cleared/screened folks that have a built up rep in order to be able to make use of them. Folks that have the coin will just buy a car solely dedicated for their own use (a luxury), but for those that just want cheap dependable transport, a new share option or partial ownership model could easily form and prosper. And like you said, most likely several interior cameras with face recognition to keep folks honest... with use privileges revoked and hefty fines for those that think vandalizing or messing up a car as being "ok". Sure shit will happen - someone may vomit in an AI driven car, but they'll get fined for the cleanup service and it won't be cheap... so they'll learn to avoid this or pay up if an accident does happen, making the occurrences rare. They'll be specially designed/purposed vehicles with interiors that can be hosed out that are used to pick up folks when they are drunk - where you know you might be sick and select that class of ride to get home just in case... All this will get worked out... but it'll take time. Folks vandalize public transport because it is easy to do so and get away with it. If you're an asshat in an AI car, you simply don't get to ride in them anymore... and then other than access to just a bus/subway, the vandals will quickly learn that having to walk everywhere isn't much fun.
 
If you're a driving enthusiast this may or may not be a bad thing. I'm cautiously optimistic. I like the idea we can put the wife's car on auto pilot when we go on a long drive somewhere. On the other hand if I take my car out to the country roads or a race track and put the foot to the floor I don't want a robot road nazi nanny making it impossible.
 
Pretty cool, I couldn't believe how well it did in both traffic and bad weather (rain). Driving might get to be a lot more relaxing in the future.
 
It is great that companies are starting to spring up in this area. Auto makers have too much conflict of interest and I have found many times that aftermarket products are way better than what auto makers try to sell you and do it for less money. A good example is remote starters. I can get top of the line systems installed that do more than I even know and have 3 mile range for $350 while the auto maker charges $500 for something that does nothing but turn on the car and only about as far away as your driveway. In the case of autonomous driving car makers mostly only sell the latest capabilities on the newest cars and do nothing to fix bugs or problems on even last years model. If it doesn't kill someone or cause a recall they don't care. What's even worse is often they will not even allow you to purchase on upgrade if you are willing. They are just dead set on trying to force you to buy a new car.

I recently took a long trip in my new car and just the simple adaptive cruise and lane assist was amazing while I was tired. And having emergency breaking and collision warnings made things feel more secure. Getting this capabilities into older cars is something that could help a lot and avoid a lot of accidents making the road safer for everyone.
 
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