AdasWorks received investment worth nearly HUF 700 million for a self-driving vehicle development which is 200 times cheaper than Google’s car, szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu wrote.
The company got two and a half million dollars to expand and hire new Hungarian professionals. It has been working on a robotic-guided, self-driving car for several years. The investors were interested in their technology despite the fact that Google has been testing its self-propelled car on the road since 2011. At first it may seem AdasWorks has 4-5 years of disadvantage. But what does the Hungarian company do that they could be the next world-renowned success story?
From chips to self-driving cars
AdasWorks separated from Kishonti Kft., the latter tests chips for tablets, cell phones. During the smartphone revolutions, chip producers competed with each other, and they had to test the products of the manufacturers. In practice, this testing service was purchased by all major device and chip maker. It was important for AdasWorks because the working relationship was formed which eventually led to the developments of car software.
Six years ago, NVidia asked them to create a demo for a car software as well. Then they realized the next smart device could be the car. They hired experts and made a division within the company which only dealt with this. This division became AdasWorks which works on an intelligent software making cars self-propelled, szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu wrote.
According to Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of the company, the production cost of their whole system is only USD 200-300. The sensor of the Google car is HUF 20 million. It is pretty unreal that someone buys a car worth 5 million Forints with a 20 million-Forint radar on the top, Kishonti thinks.
The technology of AdasWorks is based on that 5 cameras are enough for the total self-drive. Two cameras are ahead, one is on each side and one in the back. Their software is able to drive a car in accordance with the pictures of the five cameras.
What really great is about this that although tens of thousands of people work for car manufacturers, only around 30 people work at AdasWorks. They made a prototype, during which a Mercedes C-Class was converted into self-propelled in cooperation with ThyssenKrupp Presta Hungary. It was so successful that investors supported the further developments with additional USD 2.5 million. This arrived in June 2015 and then AdasWorks became an independent company and project.
Where is the car industry going?
According to Laszlo Kishonti, the software is getting to be the highest value of the car. Now it is 20% of the car’s purchase price and it probably will 50% in a few years. But the competition is huge in the software development industry, which is good for AdasWorks: the competition can help the software to be launched in 1-2 years.
Not a car, but an operating system
The company will not produce cars, but they will be one of the operating systems of cars, of which there will be only 2-3, according to Laszlo Kishonti.
There will be huge tantrums
Laszlo thinks if Mercedes or Tesla comes out with a self-driving model, all competitors, who do not have the technology, will run a huge race for the softwares.
The company would like to open an office in Silicon Valley. But there are several places in the world where they can find good engineers, for example, Finland. Since the crash of Nokia, there are a lot of unemployed engineers and maybe they will use it. The CEO said that the expansion could be solved until 200 people in Hungary as well.
based on the article of szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu
translated by BA