Audi invests big money in self-driving data company


Autonomous driving is an incredibly tricky technology to master and requires mountains of data to achieve. That’s why Audi is investing a large sum of money in TTTech Auto, a company that helps manage data for autonomous driving.

Audi has joined US parts supplier Aptiv, Samsung Electronics and German chipmaker Infineon in investing $285 million in TTTech Auto. However, TTTech Auto does not actually create any self-driving software or algorithms. Instead, it creates systems that help manage all the different data inputs required by autonomous driving systems, to ensure reliability and safety.

“Think of us as a sort of conductor managing the flow of information,” said TTTech Auto managing director Georg Kopetz. Fortune. “A sensor signal detecting a potential crash should be given the highest priority in the car’s computer network, so a command can be sent to activate the brakes within milliseconds.”

What is interesting is that the main software product offered by TTTech Auto, MotionWise, actually works with different different chipsets. Different automakers use different chip vendors for their self-driving hardware; Qualcomm, Nvidia and Intel are just a few of them. TTTech Auto’s software works with any of them and can be updated at any time, regardless of its chipset.

TTTech Auto also helped Audi create the Level 3 autonomous driving system in the current Audi A8. When Audi first unveiled this system, it was actually too advanced for government regulations, which meant Audi couldn’t sell it in most markets. This led Audi to forget about it.

TTTech Auto’s goal is to democratize self-driving technology, allowing all automakers to use its software in any car, with any chipset. This would reduce the cost of self-driving, allowing it to be used by the masses.

It looks like Audi and TTTech Auto have a good working relationship, which could help the four-ring brand develop the industry’s best self-driving technology again in the near future.

[Source: Fortune]

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