GM has invested in Nauto, according to Reuters, and follows other automakers such as Toyota and BMW in doing so. Nauto’s business does not involve the manufacturing of self-driving cars, but instead, it wants to provide automakers with a software platform and intelligence for such vehicles.
“Any (vehicle) manufacturer is better than any startup at building cars,” said Stefan Heck, founder and chief executive officer of Nauto. “Our aim is to provide the data, intelligence and a cloud platform” to automakers.
GM’s total investment amount was not disclosed, but Heck said the company’s value is now just shy of $1 billion after the most recent round of funding.
Nauto uses camera systems to watch the road ahead and the driver to better understand typical driver behavior. From good habits, to distractions, the cameras and accompanying systems record every bit of data.
Heck said it’s a critical step since self-driving cars will likely share the road with actual drivers for quite some time. “During that transition period, we need autonomous vehicles that are not just smart, but are able to collaborate with humans,” he said.