Drive.ai

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Drive.ai
IndustryArtificial Intelligence, Transportation Technology
Founded2015
HeadquartersMountain View, California
ParentApple Inc.
Websitedrive.ai

Drive.ai is an American technology company headquartered in Mountain View, California that uses artificial intelligence to make self-driving systems for cars.[1] It is the second company to remove the safety driver from its autonomous vehicles.[2] To date, the company has raised approximately $77 million in funding. Drive.ai's technology can be modified to turn a vehicle autonomous.[3]

In May 2018, Drive.ai announced a pilot program in Frisco, Texas to test the company's vehicles in its first application of a passenger carrying service available to the general public.[4]

In June 2019, the company was acquired by Apple Inc., which has been interested in the acquisition of an autonomous vehicle company for its automotive Project Titan.[5][6][7]

History[edit]

Drive.ai was established in 2015 through Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab by a group of masters and PhD students from Andrew Ng's research lab.[8] The group initially worked to develop a retrofit kit to add their autonomous driving system to existing cars.[9] The company was seed funded by Carol Reiley for an undisclosed amount.[10] In August 2016, the company emerged from stealth mode with $12 million in funding and became the 13th company in California to get a license to test autonomous vehicles.[11][12][13] The company's early funding included investments by Northern Light Venture Capital, Oriza Ventures and InnoSpring Seed Fund.[14][15]

In June 2017, Drive.ai raised a $50 million Series B funding round led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from GGV Capital, Northern Light Venture Capital and other previous investors.[16][17][18] As part of the funding announcement, the company also announced that scientist Andrew Ng had joined its board of directors.[19][20] That same month, Lyft announced a partnership with Drive.ai to run a pilot program in San Francisco operating Drive.ai's test fleet through Lyft's platform.[21][22]

Drive.ai raised an additional $15 million in September 2017 including participation from Grab, a ride-hailing technology company in Southeast Asia.[23]

In May 2018, it was announced that Drive.ai was working with the Frisco Transportation Management Association and would be releasing an on-demand self-driving passenger carrying car service in Frisco, Texas during the course of an initial 6-month pilot program.[24] It was the first public deployment of self-driving cars in Texas.[1] The pilot program will initially use safety drivers to monitor the car's operation, but will eventually move to driverless operation with remote monitoring. A Drive.ai app will be used by riders to call rides.[25][26] Initially, the program will operate as a shared service within a fixed area including retail, entertainment and office spaces using designated pickup and drop-off locations.[27][28] During the trial period, Drive.ai offered public education about its self-driving technology.[29]

In October 2018, Drive.ai announced that it would launch a similar self-driving passenger carrying car service in Arlington, Texas and became the first company with revenue in the self-driving car space. The service would include three vehicles running on several routes across different parts of the city, including the AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys).[30]

Technology[edit]

The company has a fleet of Lincoln MKZs, an Audi A4 and Nissan NV200s for its testing in California.[31]

In February 2017, Drive.ai released the first video footage of its technology, featuring one of its self-driving Lincoln MKZ cars navigating the streets of Mountain View, CA in the rain after dark. This marked an early recording of a self-driving vehicle operating on a fully autonomous ride at night, or in inclement weather. [32]

In May 2018, Drive.ai released a video featuring an orange Nissan NV200 driverless vehicle navigating Frisco streets. The video featured private streets as well as busy intersections and a traffic circle. It also featured a display showing the car's sensors and cameras dealing with objects on the road and highlighted operation through low-angle sunlight that would obscure typical sensors.[33] The car's object recognition systems identify and route around other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists safely.[34] Drive.ai's cars include screens on the outside of the car, one on the hood, one on the back, and one on each side, to communicate with pedestrians.[35] The screens feature prompts such as "Passengers Entering/Exiting' or "Waiting for You to Cross."[36]

Drive.ai collects data along the routes it will be using to create three-dimensional high-definition maps to support the self-driving technology.[37][38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Xavier Harding (May 17, 2018). "Mic". Mic.
  2. ^ Andrew J. Hawkins (May 17, 2018). "Fully driverless cars are on public roads in Texas". The Verge.
  3. ^ Alan Ohnsman (September 28, 2017). "Robocar Startup Drive.ai Gets Backing From Uber Rival Grab, Plans Singapore Move". Forbes.
  4. ^ "Drive.at to offer Uber-like service with self-driving vans starting in July". Los Angeles Times. May 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Geske, Dawn (2019-06-26). "Apple Buys Drive.ai: What Does The Autonomous Vehicle Purchase Mean For Apple?". International Business Times. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  6. ^ Musil, Steven (2019-06-26). "Apple acquires self-driving startup Drive.ai". Roadshow. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  7. ^ Korosec, Kirsten (2019-06-25). "Apple acquires self-driving startup Drive.ai on the brink of closure". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  8. ^ Darrell Etherington (August 30, 2016). "Drive.ai uses deep learning to teach self-driving cars – and to give them a voice". Tech Crunch.
  9. ^ Greg Nichols (July 5, 2017). "This bolt-on retrofit kit turns certain cars into self-driving vehicles". ZDNet.
  10. ^ "Crunchbase Drive.ai".
  11. ^ Jordan Golson (August 30, 2016). "Drive.ai wants to help autonomous cars talk with the people around them". The Verge.
  12. ^ Marco della Cava (August 30, 2016). "Garage startup uses deep learning to teach cars to drive". USA Today.
  13. ^ Johana Bhuiyan. "This self-driving startup wants to change the way robot cars make decisions and communicate". Recode.
  14. ^ Danielle Muoio (August 30, 2016). "A start-up born out of Stanford just entered the driverless car race with a radical approach". Business Insider.
  15. ^ Cromwell Schubarth (February 14, 2017). "Look, Mountain View, no hands! Startup tests self-driving on a rainy night". Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  16. ^ Marco della Cava (September 7, 2017). "Lyft partners with Drive.ai to provide self-driving rides". USA Today.
  17. ^ Darrell Etherington (June 27, 2017). "Drive.ai raises $50M for retrofit kits to bring self-driving to existing fleets". Tech Crunch.
  18. ^ "Drive.ai raises $50 million in funding; Andrew Ng joins board". Reuters. June 27, 2017.
  19. ^ Matt McFarland (June 27, 2017). "The hottest self-driving car startup you've never heard of". CNN.
  20. ^ Alan Ohnsman (June 27, 2017). "Robot Car Tech Startup Drive.ai Raises $50 Million, Adds Stanford's NG To Board". Forbes.
  21. ^ Darrell Etherington (September 7, 2017). "Lyft and Drive.ai partner on Bay Area self-driving ride-hailing pilot". Tech Crunch.
  22. ^ Jason Abbruzzese (September 28, 2017). "Drive.ai is the hot new company on the self-driving car scene". Mashable.
  23. ^ Darrell Etherington (September 28, 2017). "Self-driving startup Drive.ai to open Singapore office with new Grab funding". Tech Crunch.
  24. ^ Kyle Wiggers (May 16, 2018). "Watch Drive.ai demo its self-driving car service". Venture Beat.
  25. ^ Antuan Goodwin (May 16, 2018). "Drive.at demonstrates a truly driverless taxi in Texas". CNet.
  26. ^ Megan Rose Dickey (May 16, 2018). "Watch a truly driverless car navigate city streets". Tech Crunch.
  27. ^ Timothy B. Lee (May 29, 2018). "Self-driving technology is going to change a lot more than cars". Ars Technica.
  28. ^ "Green car briefs: Some Audis can now talk with stoplights". Times Colonist. June 8, 2018.
  29. ^ Zac Estrada (May 7, 2018). "Drive.at will launch an autonomous ride-hailing service in Texas". The Verge.
  30. ^ Davies, Alex (2018-10-19). "Drive.ai Brings Its Self-Driving Cars to Dallas Cowboy Fans". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  31. ^ Alison Griswold (May 7, 2018). "Driverless car startup Drive.ai is launching a ride-hailing service in Texas". Quartz.
  32. ^ drive.ai Rainy Night Autonomous Drive, retrieved 2019-11-20
  33. ^ Trevor Mogg (May 16, 2018). "See what it's like to take a ride in Drive.ai's self-driving taxi". Digital Trends.
  34. ^ Ryan Daws (May 17, 2018). "Drive.ai demonstrates its self-driving cars". IoT News.
  35. ^ Nancy Owano (May 19, 2018). "Self-driving vehicle service in Frisco, Texas, to start in July". TechXplore.
  36. ^ Ellen Huet (May 7, 2018). "Drive.ai Will Offer Uber-Like Service With Autonomous Vans This Summer". Bloomberg.
  37. ^ Rob Verger (May 15, 2018). "This self-driving car relies on spinning lasers to navigate down rural roads". Popular Science.
  38. ^ Megan Rose Dickey (May 7, 2018). "Drive.ai is launching an autonomous ride-hailing network in Texas". Tech Crunch.