Investment in artificial intelligence: Porsche has invested in start-up "Urgent.ly". The American company sees itself as the leading global platform for mobility and roadside assistance. The financing round amounted to 21 million U.S. dollars (18.5 million euros). Alongside "Porsche Ventures", other companies obtained shares in Urgent.ly, including "BMW i Ventures" and "InMotion Ventures", the venture capital division of Jaguar Land Rover.
The U.S. start-up's platform supports roadside assistance services in North America, Europe and Asia.
Using artificial intelligence and geolocation, Urgent.ly connects drivers, service providers and automotive manufacturers in real time, thus coordinating the best and fastest help in the event of a breakdown.
This means that, from the very beginning, the customer is provided with transparency regarding the location (exact to the second) and the expected arrival time of the roadside assistance provider. In the USA, more than half of all roadside assistance providers are already connected to the platform, which serves around 45,000 networked vehicles.
"Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations," says Kilian Sauerwald, Director Aftersales Region and Market Development at Porsche. "The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment."
"The support of our investors confirms our strategy and business model. We are aiming to create a range of services for the mobility and roadside assistance industry which meets the expectations and requirements of our customers," says Chris Spanos, CEO and cofounder of Urgent.ly. "We look forward to continuing to advance our connected services across the global automotive, insurance and mobility markets."
Porsche Ventures seeks strategic investments in business models relating to the customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle, as well as in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality. Through its venture capital activities, the sports car manufacturer Porsche invests in new companies that are in the early and growth phases.
Amongst the latest investments there has been the Berlin-based start-up Gapless. Their blockchain-based solution allows customers to digitally manage their vintage vehicles, including the entire history, and to share it with other users in a forgery-proof way. Porsche also holds shares in the fast-growing Swiss technology company WayRay.
This start-up develops and produces holographic augmented reality head-up display technologies and is working on the ability to seamlessly integrate virtual objects into the driving experience. Porsche also has invested in the start-ups Anagog, Miles and homeiX, as well as technology and sports car company Rimac.
The endless possibilities of the integration of AI with IoT:
The era of Internet of Things is already in its third phase. At the beginning, the goal was for objects to be connected to the network. The second, that they could communicate with each other and interact. And finally, that they were smart. That is, they could be aware of what is happening around them, extract data, analyze it, and make decisions based on it.
The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) presented new solutions aimed to integrate Artificial intelligence in IoT (Internet of Things) and 5G technology at the Mobile World Congress 2019. IDB selected 13 Taiwanese companies with innovative products and solutions to be showcased during the biggest IT conference in the world, which took place in Barcelona.
Taiwanese companies and the 4th industrial revolution
The integration of artificial intelligence in IoT will require more powerful connections, hence the importance of new advanced servers that will allow 5G networks to show their full potential. From there, each industry should evaluate their own production processes, determining which parts must be digitized. The industrial processes in assembly lines, the interconnection between different factories, either of suppliers or manufacturers, as well as the management of the finished product, can be managed through AIoT in a more efficient and productive way. AI is appearing throughout the three layers of the IoT architecture, from device connectivity, platform analytics and application services.
The IoT industry chain in Taiwan has great advantages in hardware, as well as the flexible and quick responses to product development. Keeping in mind the importance of integration of platforms and systems, Taiwan's industry continues to strengthen its competence in the integration of devices, networking and systems for AI, NB-IoT and edge computing in order to seize the business opportunities different vertical markets, and to facilitate Taiwan's smart city development.
Taiwan offers world-class talent and has become a hotbed of AI research in recent times. Along with the world’s top hardware manufacturing capacity, the country attracts global tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to set up AI R&D and innovation centers in Taiwan. Amazon Web Services(AWS), an Amazon subsidiary previously announced plans to open a joint innovation center with the New Taipei City Government in January 2018. The joint venture focuses on AI, big data, cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as giving technical assistance to Taiwanese cloud computing startups. Microsoft set up an IoT research and development center in Taipei City in 2016 and established an AI research and development hub in Taipei City in January 2018. Microsoft is currently in the process of recruiting 200 technology specialists for its new AI hub. Taiwan has become Microsoft's biggest R&D center in Asia.
The partnerships are set to create a comprehensive ecosystem of startup innovation, which will help pioneer the shift from traditional industries into digital markets in Taiwan. According to Gartner, global information technology spending will reach $3.7 trillion US dollars in 2018, up 4.5 percent from 2017 and Internet of Things, big data, Artificial Intelligence, and blockchain will be the main force driving tech growth.
AIoT Taiwan: www.aiottaiwan.com