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Honda and Chinese IT firm to develop AI tech for self-driving vehicles

Kyodo

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it signed a joint research contract with Chinese IT company SenseTime Group Ltd. to develop artificial intelligence technology for use in self-driving vehicles.

Honda’s subsidiary Honda R&D Co. signed a five-year joint research and development contract with the Hong Kong-based company, which is known for developing a technology that can recognize moving objects via “deep learning,” considered one of the most advanced AI concepts.

“The two companies will develop highly sophisticated automated driving technologies that will enable complex automated driving in urban areas,” Honda said in a statement.

Japan’s third-largest carmaker by volume is aiming to develop fully self-driving cars by around 2025 amid increasingly fierce international competition.

The technologies to be developed by Honda and SenseTime will be able to assess the driving environment, the behavior and intentions of pedestrians and vehicles, and use those factors to predict risk.

In the future, the project will also involve robotics, Honda said.

The carmaker is also continuing discussions with Waymo, the autonomous driving technology unit of Google Inc.’s parent Alphabet Inc., for the development of Honda’s self-driving cars.