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Honda teams with Hong Kong AI venture on self-driving cars

SenseTime's success with deep learning helped seal the deal

TOKYO -- Honda Motor is partnering with Hong Kong-based startup SenseTime to jointly develop artificial intelligence technology for self-driving vehicles, the Japanese automaker said Thursday.

Honda's research unit Honda R&D has inked a five-year joint development agreement with SenseTime. The aim is to create AI that can forecast how vehicles and pedestrians will move in an urban setting, thereby facilitating development of self-driving vehicles that can safely stop or avoid obstacles. The companies seek to broaden the realm of research into robotics in the future.

Founded in October 2014, SenseTime is recognized globally for developing facial recognition technology that uses deep learning. In Japan, it has offices in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Honda aims to roll out self-driving vehicles for general roads by 2025. It is jointly researching collection and analysis of vehicle-operating data with Google affiliate Waymo. In the field of AI, it is working with SoftBank Group to develop technology that supports driving by analyzing human emotions and behavioral habits.


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