Toyota, BMW and Allianz insurance have jointly invested in a Silicon Valley company specializing in autonomous driving. The startup, called Nauto, also had a third automaker invest, but its identity was not revealed.
According to Reuters, Nauto has been developing artificial intelligence algorithms based on anonymous feedback on large fleets. Data is gathered via a $400 device that attaches to the windshield and incorporates a camera and a “computer-based vision system.”
In addition to driving habits, the system can also detect if the driver is distracted due to texting or drinking, and to promote good behavior. This is mentioned as why insurance companies might be interested.
Nauto hopes that the system can be integrated into upcoming production cars, and perhaps retrofitted into existing cars as well. According to the story, Nauto CEO Stefan Heck says that “investors will get first insights to the technology but no exclusivity. Automakers are free to build their own applications on top of Nauto’s data.”
Looks like Toyota and BMW’s partnership will result in more than just a Supra.