Chinese AI unicorn SenseTime, the most valued AI startup of the world has set their eyes in Japan as it has confirmed that they have started a self-driving facility in Japan’s Joso city. The facility will help the company conduct R&D and test driverless vehicles. Another interesting report which emerges with the news is that the company is looking to pick a major round as it plans a $2 billion fundraising.
Notably, the company has joined hands with giant Honda where both are working on autonomous driving technology. The company, backed by Alibaba is famous for their computer vision and deep learning offerings across China in retail, healthcare and public security. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, the Japanese government wants the autonomous vehicles up and running.
SenseTime was started in 2014 by Xiaolan Xu. Apart from Alibaba, the notable backers of the firm include Tiger Global Management, Fidelity International, Temasek Holdings, Qualcomm, SBCVC (SB China Capital), HOPU Investment Management Company, Silver Lake Partners.
Takeshi Kandatsu, the Mayor of Joso city commenting on the development said, "We are glad to have the company set up a R&D center for autonomous driving in our city. I believe autonomous driving vehicles will bring not only revolutionary changes to our traffic system but also solutions to regional traffic problems. I look forward to seeing autonomous cars running on the roads of Joso. We will give full support to make it happen.”
It will be interesting to see if SenseTime can help the Japanese government in their aim of having the autonomous vehicle running on the roads of Tokyo and Japan before the world’s biggest sporting event starts.
Image Courtesy : Innovation Enterprise