TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Untether AITM, the leader in at-memory computation for artificial intelligence (AI) inference acceleration, today announced a collaboration with General Motors, supported by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), to accelerate the development of next-generation artificial intelligence perception systems for autonomous vehicles.
Perception systems are at the heart of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Under the agreement, Untether AI and GM will work together to demonstrate an autonomous vehicle perception system based on Untether AI’s unique at-memory computation technology. This project is supported with $1 million from the OVIN R&D Partnership Fund which leverages $2.09 million of industry contribution.
“Since taking office our government has created the right economic conditions to position Ontario as a hub for developing and building the vehicles of the future,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “With OVIN support, this collaboration is another example of how Ontario is fast-becoming the go-to jurisdiction for developing next-generation electric, connected and mobility technologies including artificial intelligence perception systems for autonomous vehicles.”
“Our government understands that autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to make driving safer and more efficient,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Along with the historic investments our government is making in building the vehicles of the future, we are proud to support the development of next-generation transportation technology that will transform the way we travel while furthering our position as a leader in the automotive technology space.”
“This demonstration project with General Motors illuminates the future of AI-powered perception systems that will make autonomous vehicles a reality,” said Arun Iyengar, CEO of Untether AI. “We’re pleased and excited about the support we’ve gotten from OVIN and the government of Ontario, who are leading the way to nurture innovative technology efforts in Canada.”
AV perception systems use AI, in the form of neural networks, to understand the environment around the vehicle, which is critical to the functionality of autonomous vehicles. These systems are highly complex since they must make sense of many external inputs, such as multiple channels of video cameras, radar, ultrasound, and lidar data.
The project will incorporate Untether AI’s next-generation at-memory compute technology to accelerate neural networks for AV perception systems. GM will contribute guidance and insight on AV perception system requirements, as well as providing access to the neural network technology that is utilized in the company’s current AV perception system. The project’s goal is to help increase autonomous vehicle performance by providing faster and more accurate vision response, reducing the power draw of various AV systems to increase battery life, and even helping to enable the downsizing of vehicle batteries. Additionally, this solution will aim to save on overall autonomous vehicle control system cost.
Operating as the global venture capital arm of General Motors, GM Ventures strategically invests in startup companies that share GM’s vision of a world of zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion, and are helping to accelerate the company’s evolution into a leading transportation technology enterprise. Having served as a strategic investor in Untether AI since 2018, this pilot project represents an exciting next step in the exploration of potential applications for the technology and demonstrates how establishing a connection with GM’s network of resources can lead to opportunities for tangible innovation.
“GM is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with exciting new start-ups and support advanced technology development right here in Canada,” said Ted Graham, principal at GM Ventures in Canada. “The technology developed by Untether AI has great potential to improve computing performance with low power consumption and at a lower cost, which are both priorities for the GM enterprise vision for an all-electric, connected, and autonomous future.”
About Untether AI
Untether AI provides ultra-efficient, high-performance AI chips to enable new frontiers in AI applications. By combining the power efficiency of at-memory computation with the robustness of digital processing, Untether AI has developed a groundbreaking new chip architecture for neural net inference that eliminates the data movement bottleneck that costs energy and performance in traditional architectures. Founded in Toronto in 2018, Untether AI is funded by CPP Investments, Intel Capital, Radical Ventures, and Tracker Capital. www.untether.ai.
The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is an initiative of the Government of Ontario, led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), designed to reinforce Ontario’s position as a North American leader in advanced automotive technology and smart mobility solutions such as connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles and electric and low-carbon vehicle technologies. Through resources such as research and development (R&D) support, talent and skills development, technology acceleration, business and technical supports, and demonstration grounds, OVIN provides a competitive advantage to Ontario-made automotive and mobility technology companies.
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