Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Tesla acquires neural nets startup DeepScale

Tesla will acquire DeepScale, a computer vision start-up that could help the company develop fully driverless vehicles, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

The details of the deal have not been disclosed, but the company recently raised a $15 million series A financing round, from investors including Autotech VC, Bessemer, Greylock and Trucks VC.

The news was also confirmed by DeepScale CEO Forrest Iandola who wrote on Twitter that he joined the Tesla autopilot team.

The Bay Area-based startup specialises in deep neural network technologies, based on artificial neural networks with multiple hidden layers of units between the input and output layers.

DeepScale has developed a system capable to optimise machine learning efficiency on small, low-cost, automotive-grade sensors and processors to improve the accuracy of perception systems. This will allow autonomous cars to better understand the world around them.

The technology could help Tesla’s goal to design cars with advanced driver-assistance systems that are good enough for owners to rent them out as “robo-taxis” – think Uber but without drivers.

It comes after Tesla’s recent push towards so-called “full self-driving” vehicles.

Speaking in April at the company’s Autonomy Day, Elon Musk unveiled a new custom chip designed to make Tesla cars fully autonomous. He consequently said that Tesla vehicles now had the hardware necessary for full self-driving, so “All you need to do is improve the software.”

DeepScale acquisition marks the fifth one for Tesla in the last few years,  including SolarCity in 2016, and a battery tech startup, Maxwell Technologies, earlier this year.

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