TechLab at Mcity Cohort Team Carmera Acquired
More great news out of TechLab at Mcity as Toyota’s Woven Planet Holdings has acquired HD mapping startup Carmera.
This is the second acquisition of a TechLab cohort member this year, as DeepMap was previously acquired by NVIDIA in June.
Carmera launched in 2015, and maintains and updates high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) maps using data collected from a free telematics service it provides to commercial fleet operators. Known as Change-as-a-Service, this offering is designed to detect changes in the road as well as traffic-impacting events, and can be used for a range of applications—from HD maps developed for autonomous vehicle customers like automakers, suppliers and robotaxis to SD maps used for consumer applications.
The company joined TechLab at Mcity in 2017. Employing a “company-in-residence” model, TechLab matches early-stage transportation technology startups with students interested in applying classroom learning to practical technology development.
Students in the program work on projects tailored to the needs of each participating company. The students perform testing and simulation at the Mcity Test Facility, a one-of-a-kind mobility research and urban test facility on U-M’s North Campus.
“Our partnership with Techlab at Mcity has been one of the most enduring and productive research collaborations we’ve ever participated in,” said Ro Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Carmera.
During the first semester with TechLab, a particularly ambitious student team worked to develop an image classifier to identify construction zones based on orange pixels. This student-developed code was quickly adopted into Carmera’s production software.
“Every TechLab at Mcity student who participated in the Carmera project now works full-time developing software for exciting companies in the robotics, AI, and cloud computing world,” said Nick Moroz, Director of Entrepreneurial Practice with the CFE.
“The support we and the students have received from Techlab and Mcity has been critical in making these collaborations successful,” explained Gupta. “The advantages of working onsite in Michigan–both for proximity to important industry constituents and for key environmental/weather exposure–have been indispensable.”