DeepScale AI is a computer vision startup focused on real time automotive perception systems that give cars self driving capabilities. The team deploys onto cars pre-trained neural networks able to take information from any type of sensor system (including cameras, LiDar, etc.). They are focused on "efficient" deep learning that is high powered but doesn't rely on expensive and specialized hardware.
DeepScale has a standard software licensing model that charges per sensor and per car to the manufacturer. Their technology has already been licensed by a number of manufacturers and will be in customer cars in the next few years
The team is around 20 employees and is based in California.
Why I like Them
What most people don't realize is that existing autonomous vehicles such as Waymo's are massively expensive. The industry isn't cost-sensitive currently but it will have to become extremely cost conscience as it scales. The current modus operandi for solving deep learning challenges is to throw more expensive hardware at it. Automotive manufacturing is a low margin business and would never reach close to profitability with autonomous cars cost structure as they are being developed today.
I like that DeepScale has thought ahead on this and is focused on creating computer vision systems that work on cars existing electronics (known as ECUs) rather than requiring additional specialized and expensive chips to be installed. Under the current cost structures of automobile manufacturers, autonomous vehicles will not be able to be sold even close to current car prices, so the team's focus on the business side of the technology is particularly noteworthy. By using systems already in the latest vehicles, they help automotive manufacturers save on cost by doing more with less. Think of DeepScale as building efficient automotive AI.
I also like the competitive nature of the product. Their systems continue to gather data in the field and are able to be continuously updated with upgraded neural networks pushed to cars remotely that have already been sold.
Disclosure: I have spoken to members of the team.