collecting micronet news (text/Jimmy) , Tier IV, a software maintenance and supplier for driverless cars headquartered in Japan, announced last week that it was led by Sompo Nipponkoa Insurance of Japan and Yamaha Motors (YamahaMotor), KDDI, JAFCO and Aisan Technology participated in a round of financing will end. After a total of 28 million U.S. dollars in seed financing, the company's total financing reached nearly 130 million U.S. dollars. Founder Shinpei Kato said that this will promote the global commercialization and expansion of Tier IV autonomous driving technology platform.
"Tier IV uses autonomous driving technology to embody disruptive innovation and innovative changes. We have developed a solid software platform and successfully combined it with the real Integrated vehicles.” Kato said, “it’s time to move towards real services, including functional safety and risk management.”
Tier IV was spun off from Jingdong University in December 2015 and was a pioneer in Autoware development. The company describes Autoware as an "all-in-one" open source, BSD-licensed self-driving car solution.
The platform supports tasks such as 3D positioning and mapping, 3D path planning, target and traffic signal detection, lane recognition, sensor calibration and software simulation.
Tier IV provides part of the funding for this development by selling supporting equipment such as remote controllers and logging equipment, as well as desktop and laptop computers pre-installed with Autoware .
In addition, it also provides subscription access to its data sets, labeling tools and deep learning training services at a cost of $1,000 per year.
Tier IV contributes to the development of smart cars through “any individual or organization” and realizes the “democratization” of smart cars. To this end, the company and its partner companies Apex.AI and Linaro 96Boards established the non-profit Autoware Foundation in December last year, aiming to apply Autoware to the production of products and services.
The foundation has 30 company members. Tier IV claims that so far, Autoware has been adopted by more than 200 organizations around the world, including Udacity(Nanodegree program), the Federal Highway Administration of the US Department of Transportation (CARMA platform), automakers and many autonomous driving startups.
According to Tier IV, field tests of self-driving cars have been conducted "accident-free" in more than 60 regions in Japan and overseas. The company claims that as early as December 2017, vehicles running on its platform reached Level 4 autonomous driving (meaning they can operate safely under specific conditions without supervision).
Tier IV competes with Baidu to a certain extent, and Baidu provides its own open source driverless software stack in Apollo. (Proofreading/Jurnan)