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FiveAI - Safe and Cost Effective Autonomous Urban Mobility

FiveAI was founded in 2015 and is based in Bristol. The startup is building software for autonomous vehicles that will be safe to use in complex urban environments.

The startup has two aims - first, to develop a self-driving system, and second, to build a software platform that will manage an autonomous taxi service. FiveAI uses a combination of sensors, advanced computer vision and behavioural modelling to help determine a car’s motion, and the high performance AI means there is less reliance on ultra-detailed maps, which can be expensive and time-consuming to develop.

FiveAI has recently received two bouts of funding. Lakestar Capital - an early backer of Facebook and Spotify - led the Series A round of £14m, whilst a government grant of £12.8m was put forward for Streetwise. Streetwise is a project FiveAI is working on, in conjunction with Transport For London, Direct Line, Oxford University and others, to develop an autonomous car pilot scheme with the aim of decreasing congestion in London. The first test run is due in 2019.

Human error causes 94% of road accidents; autonomous vehicles could cut the number of road-related injuries and deaths dramatically. It could also bring environmental benefits - FiveAI aren’t just stopping with automated cars, together with StreetWise they ultimately want to automate public transport too.