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Humanising Autonomy wants to improve human interaction with automated vehicles

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by Startacus Admin

Humanising Autonomy is a startup that's on a mission to improve human interaction with automated vehicles, by building human-centered tools that define how autonomous systems interact with people.

humanising autonomy logoAutonomous cars are coming. In some places, they are already in place. The likes of Tesla say that self-driving cars are the future, and they’re working hard to make that future now. The biggest point of discussion and potential cause for concern about this is, of course, safety. How well will the cars’ AI detect and avoid dangers to the diver, to other drivers, and to pedestrians?


In order to predict possible dangers like a human driver can, the AI will need to understand human behaviour. It will need to understand body language. But making a computer understand a human seems like a somewhat complicated endeavour.

It is an endeavour being undertaken by London-based Humanising Autonomy. The startup is working from Imperial College to teach its software to predict human behaviour by analysing footage of people on London’s streets to see the physical behaviour that accompanies their decision-making.

humanising autonomyWe can recognise the look of someone thinking about running across the road in front of us and soon, cars will be able to as well. London is one of the best places to do this because, after America, it will likely be one of the first places to adopt self-driving vehicles, but the behaviour of our pedestrians is a little different to that of American pedestrians. Whether it is due to the lack of jaywalking laws or any number of things, the fact seems to be that London pedestrians take more risks on the streets.

Recently, the finalists for the Future Hamburg Award 2019 were announced, and Humanising Autonomy was one of the 10, whittled down from 113 from across Norway, Portugal, Spain, the UK, and Germany. Three of these finalists will go on to boost their business over a period of six months in Hamburg, with a tailored coaching and support programme. And it’s good timing, as they are just graduating from the ScaleUp Hub run by Wayra UK, the Innogy Innovation Hub, and the Transport Systems Catapult.

It goes without saying that when autonomous cars do become the norm, they need to be at least as safe as those driven by humans, if not more so. Systems like that being developed by Humanising Autonomy are absolutely vital, and we can certainly see them driving innovation in this area!

If you like the sound of this startup, you might also want to read up on:

Predina, the startup using machine learning to make a positive social impact, using AI to dynamically predict and prevent road accidents in real-time.

Cazana provides automotive insights for the future of vehicle ownership, using big data and predictive analytics.



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Published on: 22nd April 2019

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