Five AI to Take On Google Cars
UK-based Five AI hopes to take on Google’s driverless cars.
13:53 12 October 2018
Five AI, a UK-based company is hoping to take on Google’s driverless cars. Its founder and CEO, Stan Boland is betting that British brainpower can beat American and Chinese cash.
Since its launched in 2016, Five AI has been moving quickly as possible to design a driverless car with the hope that it will, at some point, gain regulatory approval to take to the roads without someone behind the wheel as a human failsafe.
However, the company admits that its biggest challenge is funding. Compared to Google, which has invested £1.1billion on developing self-driving cars, Five AI has so far received investment of just £29million. The company’s total workforce is just 120 while Google’s autonomous vehicle business Waymo has over 3,500.
With such numbers, Mr Boland admits that his project is "a gamble", and that "a number of bets have got to come off for it to work.” However, he is not the one to doubt his ambition.
"We are building a company that I actually think will be worth tens of billions, if not more, but it is going to take a lot of focused effort to get there," he says.
"There is always a team of 20 to 50 people [at any driverless car company] that is really driving the technology," he says. "That is what it comes down to.
"So while Google's Waymo has [an estimated] 3,500 people, and Uber a couple of thousand, it really all comes down to just a handful of individuals.
"And the talent in computer vision and machine learning here in Europe is as strong as in the US."
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