Untether AI announced a collaboration with General Motors, supported by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), to accelerate the development of next-generation artificial intelligence perception systems for autonomous vehicles.

Perception systems are at the heart of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Under the agreement, Untether AI and GM will work together to demonstrate an autonomous vehicle perception system based on Untether AI’s unique at-memory computation technology. This project is supported with $1 million from the OVIN R&D Partnership Fund which leverages $2.09 million of industry contribution.

AV perception systems use AI, in the form of neural networks, to understand the environment around the vehicle, which is critical to the functionality of autonomous vehicles. These systems are highly complex since they must make sense of many external inputs, such as multiple channels of video cameras, radar, ultrasound, and lidar data.

The project will incorporate Untether AI’s next-generation at-memory compute technology to accelerate neural networks for AV perception systems. GM will contribute guidance and insight on AV perception system requirements, as well as providing access to the neural network technology that is utilized in the company’s current AV perception system. The project’s goal is to help increase autonomous vehicle performance by providing faster and more accurate vision response, reducing the power draw of various AV systems to increase battery life, and even helping to enable the downsizing of vehicle batteries. Additionally, this solution will aim to save on overall autonomous vehicle control system cost.

Operating as the global venture capital arm of General Motors, GM Ventures strategically invests in startup companies that share GM’s vision of a world of zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion, and are helping to accelerate the company’s evolution into a leading transportation technology enterprise. Having served as a strategic investor in Untether AI since 2018, this pilot project represents an exciting next step in the exploration of potential applications for the technology and demonstrates how establishing a connection with GM’s network of resources can lead to opportunities for tangible innovation.