TOKYO -- A group of Japanese computer science students, including a doctoral candidate in the field who was trained at Apple, has established a venture company along with scientists to develop information processing technology that will serve as the basis for autonomous driving.
Students and researchers at the University of Tokyo and Keio University have joined hands with Tier IV, a commercial developer of such technology, as well as specialists in the field. The aim is to develop a commercially viable, efficient system for artificial intelligence in about three years. By combining findings from various research institutions, the new company hopes to speed up the development process.
The company is headed by Yusuke Suzuki, who is currently doing his doctoral studies at Keio. It is based in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, and has an initial capital of 2 million yen ($17,400). Tier IV, where University of Tokyo associate professor Shimpei Kato oversees technological issues, Keio professor Kenji Kono and students from both universities also hold stakes in the company.
While gaining experience at Apple, Suzuki continued to work jointly with Kato and others on a technology called a virtual graphics processing unit.
The AI used in autonomous driving requires a high-performance computer that can process large quantities of information in real time. Based on existing technologies, the company hopes to achieve both speed and efficiency by using graphics processing units at data centers.
Research in the field of autonomous driving is increasingly incorporating the latest findings by researchers at universities and institutions that specialize in AI technology. Toyota Motor and General Motors are both collaborating with universities and university ventures.
Tier IV is teaming up with various universities and researchers across Japan.