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Honda signs 5-year deal with China-based SenseTime to develop AI tech for automated driving

TOKYO –Honda R&D Co., Ltd., the R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., announced on December  7that it has signed a 5-year joint research and development contract with SenseTime Group Ltd., a China-based IT company with strengths in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The agreement is part of Honda’s efforts to establish automated driving technologies to realize a collision-free society.

SenseTime is highly regarded on a global basis as a company that excels in image recognition technologies, especially recognition of moving objects, powered by deep learning technology, one of the most advanced AI technologies.

In this joint research and development, combining SenseTime’s moving object recognition technologies with Honda’s AI algorithms for scene understanding, risk prediction and action planning, the two companies will develop highly-sophisticated automated driving technologies which will enable complex automated driving in urban areas.

Moreover, it will not be limited to automated driving, as the two companies plan to expand the joint activities into the area of robotics.

Honda will strive to continue serving people worldwide with the “joy of expanding their life’s potential” by creating a number of innovations in the future.

Areas of the joint research and development include:

● AI algorithms to be applied for automated driving systems

–           Scene understanding: Estimating the driving environment and the behaviors and intentions of pedestrians and vehicles;

–           Risk prediction: Predicting the future position of pedestrians and vehicles based on the results of estimating the driving environment and the intentions of pedestrians and vehicles;

–           Action planning: Deciding on the actions taken by the vehicle such as stopping, starting and avoiding, and then generating driving trajectory based on the results of risk prediction;

● Large-scale computing technologies necessary to learn AI algorithms

● Technologies to package AI programs with on-board controllers

SenseTime was established in October 2014 in Hong Kong and claims to be China’s largest new generation AI company and a unicorn valued at more than ¥10 billion. It won the first place in the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC), a competition jointly hosted annually by multiple universities including Stanford University to evaluate image recognition technologies, for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016).

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