Connected Cars Yield Useful Data for Analysis Through Xevo

In the News
March 17, 2017

Smart cities will depend on the Internet of Things to monitor and react to changes in transit, utility use, and their residents’ behaviors.

Tier 1 automotive supplier Xevo Inc. is already using machine learning and cloud-based analytics to help drivers in connected cars.

In December, UIEvolution Inc. acquired Surround.io Corp. and renamed itself Xevo. The company has developed technology to improve the driver experience.

Xevo is combining big data gathered from millions of mobile sensors on the roads today with artificial intelligence to gather insights about driving habits, vehicle status, and traffic patterns that can be analyzed and fed back to drivers in real time.

Business Takeaways:

  • Through a combination of in-car processors, cloud services, and machine learning, Xevo is bringing IoT to roadways now.
  • Xevo’s AI systems take head-unit data and provide recommendations directly to drivers.
  • Major automakers are working to integrate nationwide training models, engineering discipline, and dynamic updates to improve the driving experience, even before self-driving cars become available.

Crew has decades of experience

Executives at both Kirkland, Wash.-based UIEvolution and Seattle-based Surround previously worked at Microsoft Corp.

“We knew Satoshi Nakajima, and it was obvious right away that there was an opportunity,” said John Ludwig, CEO of Surround and now president of the AI group at Xevo.

Nakajima worked on Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 3 and is now chief scientist at Xevo. Ludwig was a vice president at Microsoft and founded Surround in 2013.

“We started in the PC business and saw the Internet, mobile, and cloud waves,” Ludwig told Robotics Business Review. “Connected cars are the next major device — this wave will be bigger than those before it.”

Connected cars get smarter

Even before self-driving cars reach the market, AI can improve daily commutes. Connected cars can not only provide information, entertainment, and marketing to drivers and passengers, but they can also convey data on component wear, movement, and traffic patterns.

“A huge transformational shift is taking place in the automotive industry; the very nature of the car experience is changing dramatically,” Ludwig said. “We saw a chance to massively improve the driver experience through the user interface and machine learning.”

As its name implied, UIEvolution worked to develop the user interface and UIE CloudConnect in-vehicle “infotainment” platform. With Surround.io, Xevo has broadened its focus from middleware to machine vision, deep learning, and cloud services.

“Ten million cars on the road have some form of Xevo software in their head unit,” said Brian Woods, chief marketing officer at Xevo. “Our biggest customers include Honda, Toyota, its Lexus division, and others. As you can imagine, that’s lots of edge or endpoint devices.”

BI Intelligence predicts that 94 million connected cars will ship in 2021, representing 82% of the market, compared with 21 million vehicles today. It also expects that 381 million connected cars will be...

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