Technology company Nauto has entered into agreements with BMW i Ventures and Toyota Research Institute, as well as with Allianz Ventures, part of the leading global financial service provider and insurance company Allianz Group.
Nauto developed deep learning capabilities that run both in the cloud and on retrofit devices that can be mounted in any vehicle. Nauto is already deployed into commercial passenger, logistics and delivery fleets and enables these fleets to manage vehicle and driver safety and operate more efficiently. Nauto detects driver attention, coaches drivers and warns of collisions, keeps fleet managers in touch with their drivers and helps them optimize vehicle deployment. In fact, Nauto claims, its algorithms provide 5X more risk differentiation between the best and the worst drivers. The data set records near-misses, driver distraction, tailgating, and detects how drivers respond to the road, signs, traffic and other events, providing insight into root causes of a crash. Which could mean cheaper insurance for some and higher insurance rates for others.
These companies have invested in Nauto and are working with the company on autonomous vehicle development using the Nauto cloud-based data learning platform. The agreements enable Nauto to significantly grow its artificial intelligence-powered deep learning network and accelerate deployment into shared vehicle fleets and eventually migrate from retrofit device into new production vehicles.
Under the agreements, Nauto and its auto and insurance industry partners will license data and technologies, including Nauto’s artificial intelligence-powered vehicle network. As more and more vehicles deploy Nauto, its connected car network will be populated with greater volumes of precise information on how drivers and vehicles behave and perform — understanding both how excellent drivers handle vehicles in real urban conditions as well as the combinations of errors, distraction, and challenging circumstances that lead to crashes. The resulting insights will improve fleet safety and operations near term to save lives and reduce liability and expenses. Over time they will usher in a new era, from human-driven to autonomous vehicles.
At Nauto’s core is a perpetually learning artificial intelligence system which uses computer vision, GPS, vehicle sensors and data from its smart cloud to give a full, contextual and accurate picture and provide insights into driver behavior. Nauto’s system stays one step ahead to prevent accidents before they happen, capture information about close calls, and learn from relevant vehicle and driver behavior. Nauto can detect potential driver distraction inside the car, as well as safety issues outside the vehicle. The system automatically uploads and tags road conditions and incidents that matter (drivers don’t need to manually input data) and alerts fleet managers to accidents, near-misses or major driving performance issues.
In addition, Nauto is working with the insurance industry to provide insights that help insurers offer enhanced services and build long-lasting customer relationships. Insurers get a more precise view of each and every driver that can help personalize coverage, deliver precision risk assessments, reduce fraudulent claims and provide enhanced urban mobility services for commercial fleets. Nauto’s artificial intelligence platform drives deep learning that goes beyond the basics of recorded events by capturing driver behavior, inside-the-vehicle activity and correlations from road, weather and traffic conditions. Nauto can not only rate drivers, but also detect patterns of near-misses and dangerous circumstances to coach and proactively warn drivers before accidents happen.
Nauto was co-founded in 2015 by CEO Stefan Heck, Ph.D., a Stanford Consulting Professor and former McKinsey & Company senior partner, and CTO Frederick Soo Ph.D., a neuroscientist-turned hardware engineer and entrepreneur. Nauto’s backers include Playground Global, Draper Nexus and Index Ventures. Nauto’s team of data science and machine learning Ph.D’s, world class engineers, and industry veterans in insurance and livery fleet operations are located in Playground Global Studio, where they are developing Nauto’s products and deploying them to professional fleet and insurance industry customers. Dr. Heck was inspired to develop Nauto after decades of advising some of the world’s biggest companies and governments on energy, innovation and resource economics.
Nauto-equipped vehicles began gathering and learning street and driving patterns in more than 24 cities around the world, from Bangalore and Vienna to Mexico City and Boston, and are now in commercial deployments in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.