KDDI, Sony invest in self-driving car OS developer Tier IV

Wednesday 7 March 2018 | 13:54 CET | News
Japanese operator KDDI, Sony and other investors have injected around JPY 3 billion (approximately USD 28.4 million) in Tier IV, a university-affiliated startup that develops and sells operating systems for self-driving vehicles. KDDI said it will partner with Tier IV to launch self-driving car tests using 5G networks, Nikkei reports. Sony, which acquired its stake via its affiliated investment fund, said it may collaborate with its semiconductor and nonlife insurance units. 

Japanese venture capital firm Jafco and the University of Tokyo Edge Capital are also investors in the project. Tier IV aims to use the funds raised to collaborate with other companies to start selling self-driving cars for testing both in Japan and overseas, as well as to develop regional transportation systems using low-speed autonomous vehicles.

Founded in 2015 based on research by Nagoya University, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and others, Tier IV develops autonomous driving services based on open source software. Autoware, the operating system developed by Tier IV, has been adopted by more than 100 companies, including Yamaha Motor, Sony and US chipmaker Nvidia.

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