Kudan&MACNICA announce partnership to develop new value-added solutions for mobility business sector
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
〜Working to create new markets and accelerate the implementation of autonomous driving systems within society for the mobility and automotive industries〜
Kudan Inc. (headquarters in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; CEO Tomohiro Ohno, hereafter Kudan) and MACNICA, Inc. (headquarters in Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama; President and Co-CEO Kazumasa Hara, hereafter MACNICA), a global leader in supplying services and solutions for semiconductors, network equipment, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, are proud to announce that they will begin working together as part of a cooperative business agreement to develop new value-added solutions for the mobility business sector.
【Partnership Background & Objectives】
The autonomous driving systems and mobility services of the future will require the highest levels of safety and reliability before people can begin to trust them. In order to achieve such exacting standards, there are a number of technical challenges that must still be met. This cooperative business agreement looks to combine Kudan’s artificial perception technology that provides the “eyes” for various machinery and systems with MACNICA’s cutting-edge semiconductor and sensor systems technology in order to conduct joint research and development efforts that utilize the synergy between the two companies and expedite solutions to the myriad technical challenges facing areas such as sensing technology, the recognition/judgment/control technology of autonomous driving systems, and high-precision map data for self-driving vehicles.
In addition, the combination of Kudan’s technology with MANICA’s access to state-of-the-art semiconductors, sensors, and other hardware will enable the creation of autonomous navigation systems that are not solely reliant on GPS; wide ranging ultra-high definition maps (3D maps); and other value-added mobility solutions.
【Solution and product examples from our joint research & development efforts】
・Packaged hardware products and integrated sensing technology capable of autonomous navigation that does not rely on GPS
In environments where standard GPS signals are unavailable, it can be difficult to control vehicles and other machinery that are unable to recognize their current position. Going forward, development will focus on analyzing the integrated data from cameras and various other sensors in combination with GPS to create a new type of “machine eyes” for such situations.
・Implementation of Kudan’s self-developed Hybrid SLAM(*) technology featuring a combination of LiDAR and cameras will enable the creation of wide ranging ultra-high definition maps that help solve the global challenge of location recognition for vehicles in urban environments
The traditional method for confirming vehicle position on existing HD maps is to embed coordinate, signal, and other types of data within the map and have the data points detected by cameras. However, the complications of implementing this method, along with the possibility of misrecognition or trouble adapting to changes in the environment make it difficult to expand its use beyond specific cases such as highway driving. Kudan’s technology allows for the processing of the entire environment while constantly ascertaining the vehicle’s position, which will help in overcoming this challenge and enable accurate location recognition for self-driving vehicles in urban environments through the creation of a machine map platform.
・New mobility solutions integrating artificial intelligence
Our joint efforts will focus on a variety of new solutions utilizing artificial intelligence to automatically recognize traffic signs, automobiles, and pedestrians in the vehicle’s field of view, as well as objects on the road or other unusual conditions.
(*) SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping)
This technology utilizes information from sensors to simultaneously map a vehicle’s surrounding environment as well as its position within that environment in real-time. Kudan makes use of sensors from both LiDAR and cameras for its SLAM technology, while also combining the individual systems to develop its own high-speed and high-accuracy Hybrid SLAM technology.
【Looking to the Future】
Kudan and MACNICA plan to engage in joint research and development efforts that will provide solutions to accelerate the implementation of self-driving vehicles in society as well as create new markets for mobility systems and the automotive industry.
About MANICA, Inc.
Since its establishment in 1972, MACNICA has continually provided value-added products and solutions to the fields of semiconductors, electronic devices, network equipment, and cybersecurity. Recently, MACNICA has used its technology sourcing and technical planning ability to develop new business opportunities in AI/IoT, self-driving vehicles, robots, and other emerging areas. Moving forward with its slogan of “Co.Tomorrowing,” the company aims to be a service and solutions provider that connects the latest technology to its intellectual know-how in order to create new value for society. Based in Yokohama, Japan, MACNICA does business in more than 80 locations in 23 countries worldwide.
For more information, please refer to MANICA’s website at https://www.macnica.co.jp.
Name: MANICA, Inc.
Capital: 11,194 million JPY
Representative: President and Co-CEO Kazumasa Hara
About Kudan Inc.
Kudan (Tokyo Stock Exchange securities code: 4425) is a deep tech research and development company specializing in algorithms controlling artificial perception (AP), a technology which provides machines (computers and robots) with the equivalent of human “eyes.” As a complement to artificial intelligence (AI), AP functions as a deep tech which allows machines to develop autonomy. Currently, Kudan is using its high-level technical innovation to explore business areas based on its own milestone models established for deep tech which provide wide-ranging impact on several major industrial fields. In addition to the independently-developed AP technology it has produced, Kudan is also conducting R&D in the fields of machine perception, deep perception and neural perception networks, with an eye to the integration of its technology with artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT).
For more information, please refer to Kudan’s website at https://www.kudan.io/.
Name: Kudan Inc.
Securities Code: 4425
Representative: President and CEO Tomohiro Ohno