〜 Kudan and Artisense jointly announce that they have launched consultations towards collaboration accelerating technology and business development following the completion of Kudan’s initial purchase of Artisense shares leading to acquisition〜
Tokyo, Munich, Palo Alto – Kudan Inc. (headquarters in Tokyo; Managing Director Tomo Ohno, Japan hereafter “Kudan”), and Artisense Corporation (headquarters in California, USA; CEO Andrej Kulikov; henceforth in this document as “Artisense”), two leading Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) developers, have jointly announced that the two companies have launched consultations towards partnership for technology and business development following the completion of Kudan’s initial purchase of shares in Artisense, to be followed in several stages by the purchase of the remaining shares of the company so that Artisense will be acquired as a subsidiary of Kudan.
The market for localization and mapping technologies is rapidly growing, driven by various future products such as autonomous cars, robots, drones and AR/VR devices. However, there are very few players actually delivering the core algorithms that enable these commercial products. Especially within the context of the continuing consolidation of this market, the merging of the technologies and businesses of Kudan and Artisense, as the two leading companies in the field of localization and mapping, is expected to acquire a higher market share.
Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), is the essential building block for all machines and computers to recognize their position and environment, necessary for autonomous navigation and immersive user experiences. With the mutually complementary nature of the technologies developed by the two companies, such as Kudan’s indirect visual SLAM, LiDAR SLAM, and Artisense’s robust direct visual SLAM and advanced deep learning technologies, the partnership will be able to deliver an intelligent fusion between LiDAR and vision sensors, indirect and direct algorithms, SLAM and deep learning, which will achieve a significant breakthrough in robustness, accuracy and performance.
The M&A transaction aims to enhance business development through cross-selling complementary offerings, covering the global market through both footprints in Europe, Asia, America. With strengthened financial power, Kudan and Artisense will operationally accelerate the building of businesses together throughout the industry.
Comment from Kudan Managing Director, Tomo Ohno
“In order to capture the growing markets through investment and acquisition, we have been investigating all companies worldwide who claim they are developing SLAM. However, there is only one company who actually has the true technology: Artisense, backed by a world-class Computer Vision / Artificial Intelligence research team. We believe that Kudan and Artisense will be the powerhouse leading core computer vision algorithms in the industry, penetrating the technologies for all future solutions.”
Comment from Artisense CEO, Andrej Kulikov
“The partnership with Kudan, a publicly listed company on Tokyo Stock Exchange, will pave the wave to further financial capability and immediate access to the capital markets for Artisense, guaranteeing OEM customers and partners continuous development and supply of the most up-to-date product on the market. The mutually complementary nature of the software developed by the two companies will allow for the realization of product-grade certifiable spatial navigation software that will operate in still more advanced and complex environmental conditions than today and will make the combined company the clear technological leader in its field.”
About Kudan Inc.
Kudan develops and provides Artificial Perception algorithms governing spatial and positional recognition, primarily for application in the fields of autonomous driving, robotics, AR/VR and drone technology. The company’s most significant achievements are in the development to a commercially viable and practically usable level of Indirect Visual SLAM (processing visual images from cameras) and LiDAR SLAM (processing data provided by LiDAR).
Detailed LiDAR mapping for localisation
Artisense was founded in 2016 by Andrej Kulikov and Professor Daniel Cremers, a renowned authority in the research of autonomous driving technology boasting world-class academic credentials (over 32,000 citations of his papers and an h-index of 88) and leader of the computer vision research group at the Technical University of Munich, one of the world’s leading centers in its field. The Artisense Group is comprised of three global companies: its parent company headquartered in Silicon Valley in the United States, its German R&D center conducting research and development in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich and European OEM manufacturers, and its Japanese branch focusing on business development in Asia. Artisense develops and markets robust visual-inertial navigation systems for autonomous ground and aerial vehicles.