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Honda and China-based SenseTime to jointly research and develop AI technologies for automated driving

Honda R&D Co., Ltd., the R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., has signed a 5-year joint research and development contract with SenseTime Group Limited, a China-based IT company with expertise in image recognition technologies, especially recognition of moving objects, powered by deep learning technology.

Under the joint research and development agreement, the two companies will combine SenseTime’s moving object recognition technologies with Honda’s AI algorithms for scene understanding, risk prediction and action planning. The two intend to develop sophisticated automated driving technologies which will enable complex automated driving in urban areas.

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

AI algorithms to be developed and applied for automated driving systems include:

  • 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.

The two companies will also work together on large-scale computing technologies necessary to learn AI algorithms as well as technologies to package AI programs with on-board controllers.

SenseTime won the first place for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) 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.

Robotics. At CES 2018 next month, Honda will unveil its new 3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept, demonstrating a range of experimental technologies engineered to advance mobility and make people’s lives better. Honda will reveal:

  • 3E-A18, a companion robotics concept that shows compassion to humans with a variety of facial expressions

  • 3E-B18, a chair-type mobility concept designed for casual use in indoor or outdoor spaces

  • 3E-C18, a small-sized electric mobility concept with multi-functional cargo space

  • 3E-D18, an autonomous off-road vehicle concept with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities

In addition to the suite of robotics concepts, Honda will showcase its Mobile Power Pack World, which includes a portable, swappable battery pack for electric vehicles, and a re-charging system for use at home, recreation or during a natural disaster. The Mobile Power Pack World at CES will also exhibit a battery exchanger concept that can store and charge mobile power packs.

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