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Audi and Johannes Kepler University of Linz to establish center for artificial intelligence; autonomous driving

Audi and the Johannes Kepler University of Linz (JKU) are establishing the “Audi.JKU deep learning center” in Linz to conduct joint research into the intelligent car of the future. Through cooperation with the Institute for Bioinformatics headed by Prof. Sepp Hochreiter, Audi plans to promote the use of artificial intelligence in automobiles.

Prof. Sepp Hochreiter is one of Europe’s leading experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). He has made major contributions with fundamental research into deep‑learning technologies – a methodology that is based on the learning processes of the human brain. The long short‑term memory (LSTM) that he developed is used for speech‑recognition software in all smartphones all over the world. (LSTM is a recurrent neural net (RNN) architecture proposed by Hochreiter and his colleague Jürgen Schmidhuber in 1996.)

Exchanges of opinions and experience with Audi on the subject of autonomous driving have been taking place for several years, and the two partners successfully concluded their first joint project in 2016.

The application of AI has enormous potential for self‑driving cars, not just for speech recognition, but even for predicting passengers’ intentions and needs, and reacting to them. Thanks to LSTM networks, drivers in the future will feel safer in their cars than in their own living rooms.

—Prof. Hochreiter

As part of the cooperation, Audi will also support selected young scientists at JKU Linz.

The “Audi.JKU deep learning center” starts work with five projects. Research will be conducted into how cars driving in piloted mode in complex traffic situations can be exactly aware of and interpret their environment. Potential dangers must be recognized at an early stage and reaction times must be optimized. (Einsatz von Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) für self-driving automotion, which runs through 2019.)

Another project deals with the use of artificial intelligence in vehicle sensors. (LSTM4Drive - Long Short-Term Memory For Self-Driving Cars)

Audi’s software company Audi Electronics Venture GmbH functions as a specialized interface and contact point for JKU Linz.

We have been developing our global network in the field of artificial intelligence for many years, and are delighted that we have been able to gain Prof. Hochreiter and his institute as an additional competent partner.

—Dr. Peter Steiner, Chief Executive of Audi Electronics Venture


  • Sepp Hochreiter, Jürgen Schmidhuber (1997) “Long short-term memory”. Neural Computation 9 (8): 1735–1780 doi: 10.1162/neco.1997.9.8.1735


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