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Google's venture capital fund makes a new self-driving bet



A.I. Startup Scotty Labs recently announced the successful completion of a six-million-seed round led by Google's A.I.-Centric Gradient Ventures. According to the post created by co-founder and CEO Tobenna Arodiogbu, Horizons Ventures, Hemi Ventures, Social Capital, Neuron.VC, Gravity Ranch and Graph Ventures were other participants in the financing. He also outlined the main purpose of the company and some of its goals for the future. Although the company has existed for about a year, in the public eye it has mostly been under radar. However, it could prove to be one of the most important advances as it deals with the question of how different autonomous driving systems can meet the standards that society expects of them. More specifically, the company wants to accelerate progress while maintaining security parameters that the technology will certainly need if it succeeds.

This is true for various end products on which the self-propelled revolution depends to solve most efficiently the problems one hopes will solve them. From self-driving cars and trucks to autonomous VTOLs and delivery robots, Scotty sees a need to expand test methods to match the complexity of the environments in which they are designed to operate. Human intelligence is absolutely crucial, says the manager. For this reason – and based on the conviction that A.I alone is not yet able to adapt to dynamic circumstances that may occur – the Scotty Labs solution begins with the introduction of a platform that supports the machine learning process. It is a "tele-operations" platform that ultimately allows human operators to virtually control vehicles in dynamic environments to provide redundancy for A.I.

Scotty's first customer is already in line to use the platform and approach to deploying his own fleet – a company called Voyage. Despite Scotty's efforts to deliver safe self-driving cars as quickly as possible, the project will still take months or years to reach Tier 4 autonomy. For the perspective, most A.I. Vehicles are currently working with Tier 3 autonomy, and full autonomy is not reaching Tier 5, but some automakers plan to reach that point after 2021, according to the latest timetables.


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