One of the key requirements with the advent of autonomous vehicles is a network of computers that can be used to drive these vehicles efficiently on a limited energy budget. The AI systems can work offline, but they need to process the sensor data in real-time in the vehicle. Autonomous vehicles are currently unable to transition to the next level of autonomy and beyond and this is where a company like Recogni that specializes in high-performance and low-power AI processing comes in. The company can play a significant role in making autonomous vehicles a reality.
Recogni was established in 2018 and is based in San Jose, California. The company is all set to revolutionize the processing of sensor data for Level 2+ autonomous vehicles with the use of a Vision Cognition Processor. This processor can help tackle the issue of running perception algorithms in the vehicle in real-time and at low power consumption. The company was set up by people who have expertise in system design, AI, vision, and custom silicon design.
Fluxunit, OSRAM’s Venture Capital arm joined other companies such as leading VC funds, automotive OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers in the financing round of Recogni. Recogni is a Silcon Valley startup that is working on the development of a vision-oriented artificial intelligence (AI) platform for autonomous vehicles. This platform would facilitate the processing of sensor data derived from LIDAR, camera and RADAR systems in real-time and at low power consumption. Recogni has a subsidiary company in Munich. Other leading companies which participated in the USD 25 million financing round included GreatPoint Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, BMW iVentures, Faurecia and DNS Capital.
“We see a huge opportunity here to truly achieve the goal of full vehicle autonomy with the Recogni platform,” said Ashok Krishnamurthi, Managing Partner at GreatPoint Ventures. “While scoping the market, we realized that most of the neural network accelerator technologies are either optimized for performance or power – none are optimized for both. We believe that the Recogni platform is orders of magnitude superior to anything we have seen. Further, this is a team we’ve known for years and have backed in the past. They are the right group to not only develop this promising technology but also get it into the hands of the auto OEMs.”
Sebastian Stamm, Investment Manager at Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures said that the company believed in sensor fusion based on camera, RADAR, and LIDAR, but the computational requirements for processing the flood of data in real time and running perception algorithms on the edge was a key roadblock in achieving autonomous driving currently. He said that Recogni used a unique and disruptive approach to solve this problem and Osram was proud to back such a team of world-class IC- and system developers as well as automotive AI experts.
Recogni plans to use the funds obtained through the financing round to deliver the most capable perception system that can enable state of the art sensor fusion of visual and depth sensor data while continuing to grow its team of top-tier engineers. Currently, the company is in discussions with many auto manufacturers to provide them with the full suite of enabling technology ranging from modules to the software.
“The issues within the Level 2+, 3, 4 and 5 autonomy ecosystem range from capturing/generating training data to inferring in real-time. These vehicles need datacenter class performance while consuming minuscule amounts of power,” said RK Anand, CEO of Recogni. “Leveraging our background in machine learning, computer vision, silicon, and system design, we are engineering a fundamentally new system that benefits the auto industry with very high efficiency at the lowest power consumption.”
Osram’s investment in Recogni highlights its transition from a lighting company towards a high-tech photonics company in various future applications such as autonomous driving. Through Fluxunit, Osram will contribute its expertise in semiconductors for lighting as well as sensing applications in the automotive industry.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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