Reports: State of AI, Cyber Defenders. Didi's nasty economics. Daimler-Bosch tieup.
Volkswagen’s investment in the Beijing-based AI company Mobvoi is the German automaker’s biggest startup move of 2017 to date, with VW committing $180M as part of a strategic partnership between the companies.
The AI gold rush fever has struck the automotive world hard, obviously for autonomous driving and vision applications but also natural language processing and voice interface technologies (which Mobvoi provides).
Beyond auto, the report spans a full range of AI trends in fields from robotics and commerce to IoT/IIoT and cybersecurity.
On the subject of cybersecurity, our latest Cyber Defenders report also spotlighted startups working specifically on automotive and IoT applications, among many others. These areas have also heated up as the proliferation of connected vehicles and devices has opened new attack vectors.
Comings and goings
The revolving door of auto tech personnel continued to spin this week:
Tesla‘s VP of Autopilot Vision David Nistér joined Nvidia for a high-definition mapping initiative
Quora‘s director of engineering Kah Seng Tay joined self-driving startup Drive.ai to head its engineering efforts
Udacity VP Oliver Cameron, who was spearheading the company’s self-driving engineer nanodegree program, will lead robotaxi spinout Voyage
Former head of the NHTSA Mark Rosekind joined robotaxi startup Zoox as the chief safety innovation officer
Regarding that last point, the hiring was a no-brainer on Zoox’s part but has stoked fears of regulatory capture from the expanding self-driving complex.