August 2nd, 2020 by Alex Voigt
Recogni is one of the best-kept secrets in the autonomous driving industry, a hidden champion that plans to deliver technology key to full self-driving capability to the automotive industry in 5–6 months.
The startup, founded in 2017, has its headquarters in San Jose, USA, and Munich, Germany. It is supported by venture investment companies, with $25 million in funding coming last year from Toyota, BMW, Faurecia, OSRAM, Great Point, and DNS Capital.
Recogni management has chosen to put its efforts into its solution, not public relations or marketing, and thus doesn’t have the widespread visibility of some of its competitors. Perhaps that sounds familiar to you.
In my interview with R K Anand, he gave fascinating insights into why you need to start with a clean-sheet approach, why you must think in energy and processing speed bottlenecks in this industry, and order of magnitude improvements of computerization.
Recogni is, other than Tesla, the only company globally that has designed and developed its own dedicated autonomous driving chip and integrates it with software trained by neural networks to solve vision as the number one priority. Like Elon Musk and George Hotz, the CEO and founder of comma.ai have pointed out, if you solve vision, you solve autonomous driving.
Peter Mertens, the former Board Member of Audi, Volkswagen, and Volvo, said in my interview with him about Recogni, which he is on the board of: “Okay, wow, these guys are completely crazy! I mean, what they [are trying] to achieve is almost impossible. But if they could achieve it, [it’s] really gonna be a breakthrough.”
If we look back in time, great inventions have often been made by unique personalities that, at the time, the majority of people called crazy. True inventors who achieve the impossible first of all imagine the impossible, and that is a definition of “crazy” or “magical,” depending on how you look at it. Without them, our earth would be stalled in a linear improvement process and fantastic achievements we take for granted today would not have happened.
We are living in a time of unprecedented breakthroughs of technology that will change the fundamental rules of our society. If autonomous driving is achieved, and some of the smartest people in the world are putting all their efforts behind that challenge, the world we know today will be a forgotten past you try to explain to your grandchildren as a goodnight story.
The question I had for RK Anand in my interview was not whether autonomous driving will happen, but how and who will achieve it first.
He responded: “We think that our technology is gonna be pivotal to solving the fundamental roadblock to AV.”
He continued, “In my opinion, I think the first company that might be able to do this (coast to coast autonomous drive), would be Tesla.”
For more, check out the full interview.
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