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vol.12 Nauto Japan G.K.

Nauto Japan合同会社

vol.12 Nauto Japan G.K.

Head of Nauto Japan G.K, Ida Tetsuro

Assuring Safety through AI and Dash Cams
U.S. Based startup Pioneers the Future of Self-driving Vehicles

Although Google, Apple, Uber, and Intel are among the major IT corporations that are in a heated competition to develop and reach what is known as Level 4 automation in the field of self-driving vehicles, the U.S.-based Tesla has already brought to market partial driving automation technologies.
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With such self-driving vehicles, an algorithm, a formula to identify and calculate the next move of pedestrians and cars from video information is required to realize automation. However, to develop such an algorithm, it is said that a massive amount of driving data will be required.

Nauto, a U.S.-based startup, is a company that is developing an image recognition technology called “computer vision” and its AI’s algorithm. Not only does the AI-connected dashcam Nauto sells protect the driver’s safety, but also built within it is a grand ambition that will pave the way for the future of autonomous driving.

“The cause of most traffic accidents is said to be due to distracted driving. The current ‘semi-autonomous driving vehicles require the driver to be facing forward. That is to say, we could reduce traffic accidents if we monitor the drivers, but there are not many who offer such services. Nauto’s dashcam can offer fleet management, warn drivers of danger in real-time and score the driver’s risk level as well. Since it is video-based technology, when it comes to sudden acceleration or braking, instead of making a blanket determination as though they were all ‘bad acts,’ it can consider the situation and evaluate it accordingly.”

Currently, Nauto sells devices to corporate fleet vehicles, which have longer driving hours. While the purpose is to increase the safety of fleet vehicles, they are also collecting driving data. That is right; Nauto is not a company that simply sells high-performance dashcams. Their mid-to long-term products are the data collected by their dashcams and the algorithm for autonomous driving, which they plan to develop based on these data.

“The main core of our business is the development of technology to be used in future self-driving vehicles. We want to offer safety to today’s drivers by incorporating futuristic technology into a seemingly common product like a dashcam. Using the data collected by these dashcams, we wish to offer a new value, and ultimately wish that our technology can be offered to Japanese corporations.”

After graduation, Ida’s first job was was with Toyota Motor Corporation in 2006. After eight years of working for Toyota, he left the company in 2014 after his involvement in the launch of the Lexus brand in Brazil, with the desire to launch a business with his own abilities. In 2016, he joined a Silicon Valley startup Beepi after obtaining an MBA. While the company had over 300 employees and was considered a unicorn company, it closed because of a lack of funding.

“ I joined Nauto the year after. Startups tend to show their results after the first or second year of starting. Decisions must be made expeditiously. It has been six months since I joined the company. Its Japanese entity was launched three to four months ago. We then opened our office in Marunouchi, so you can see how everything moves ‘expeditiously,” he laughed. “Frankly speaking, it’s hard work, but challenging and fun. Quite exciting!”

The office was set up in Marunouchi because there were many potential client’s corporate offices in the area and that the Shin-Marunouchi Building itself brought legitimacy to the company. What, then, was his impression after using EGG JAPAN?

“Very high-quality as a rental office. They are responsive even to our minute needs, and they are constantly thinking, ‘if you are looking for such clients, we could introduce them to you.’ It is quite significant that they provide networking opportunities with major corporations.”

Ida says he approaches business with the following thought: In the end, what value do we add to society?

“Since Nauto came from the U.S., people may perceive our arrival as though we were Commodore Perry’s Black Ships. However, Nauto intends to make the platform we are building to be something Japanese corporations can openly adopt. Japanese society needs to become a culture where innovation can occur openly. I find value in the fact that I can help bring vitality to Japanese corporations.”

With speedy, future-oriented actions, a positive attitude aimed at realizing a brilliant society, they have the potential to add a lot of excitement to the Japanese automotive industry and business scenes.
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Ida Tetsuro

Ida Tetsuro

After graduating from the School of Law, Osaka University, IDA joined Toyota Motor in 2006. After obtaining an MBA, he joined Beepi, a Silicon Valley-based startup, to participate in the launch of an online-used car marketplace. The following year, 2017, he joined Nauto. In June of the same year, he returned to Japan the same time the Japanese subsidiary was established and assumed the position as its head.

Nauto Japan G.K.

A startup that launched in Palo Alto, California, in 2015.

They developed a system that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to learn driver behaviors and driving conditions in real-time.
The aim is to improve the safety of self-driving vehicles by analyzing and using the captured data from their system.

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