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Navigation startup for self-driving cars nabs $80 million

Wayz.ai, not to be confused with the GPS navigation software Waze, was founded in 2017 by Vincent Tao, who has roots with PPTV (an online TV provider in China), Microsoft and York University in Toronto.

According to China Money Network, Wayz.ai makes these maps for autonomous driving vehicles with Level 3 and Level 4 autonomy.

Level 3 autonomous cars have “conditional automation,” this means the “vehicle is capable of taking full control and operating during select parts of a journey when certain operating conditions are met,” according to a CNet primer on self-driving cars. Level 4 autonomous cars have “high automation,” this means the car “is capable of completing an entire journey without driver intervention, even operating without a driver at all, but the vehicle does have some constraints,” like it “may be confined to a certain geographical area.”

According to a translation of an article about the investment on PEdaily, “Wayz.ai provides location-based services as a gateway to provide a complete location intelligence service solution that combines AI capabilities with precision positioning, high-definition map HDMAP, security testing and location cloud platforms…”

To create these smart maps, Wayz.ai uses artificial intelligence, cameras and sensors to provide a real-time location of the vehicle and its surroundings. According to a translation of the company website, the system “cover(s) tens of thousands of positioning scenes, gathering location, time, events, places, people’s behaviors… etc.”

All this information is compiled into a “real-world ‘database’ and … massive information location map.” The map “links all the ‘people and people’, ‘people and things’, and ‘objects and things’.”

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