China's artificial intelligence company SenseTime has set up an AI autonomous driving park in the Japanese city of Joso in Ibaraki Prefecture.
The company announced on January 11 that the testing course will be utilized solely to develop autonomous driving technology and conduct road tests of autonomous vehicles.
Joso is located in the southwestern part of Ibaraki Prefecture, around 50 kilometers away from Tokyo, and is located near Tsukuba Science City, a prestigious scientific research center in Japan.
“SenseTime would take this testing course as an R&D center for the development of various smart-driving technologies. In addition, the facility will be open to the public, in which local residents can witness and experience the most advanced autonomous driving technologies,” the company said in a media statement.
During his visit to the park in December 2018, Joso City Mayor Takeshi Kandatsu welcomed the R&D center for autonomous driving in the city.
“I believe autonomous driving vehicles will bring not only revolutionary changes to our traffic system, but also solutions to regional traffic problems. With the help of SenseTime, I look forward to seeing autonomous cars running on the roads of Joso. We will give full support to make it happen,” he said.
Shihong Lao, CEO of SenseTime Japan and General Manager of Automobile Business Division, said that SenseTime will deepen its cooperation with the community to create employment opportunities and make contributions to the society through technology innovations.
In 2017, SenseTime signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Honda to jointly develop L4 autonomous driving technology. Over the past years, test vehicles equipped with SenseTime’s autonomous driving technology have undergone road tests in Japan and China.
According to the plan, SenseTime will cooperate with Honda to mass-produce autonomous driving cars that can hit the road in 2025.
Founded in 2014, SenseTime has raised more than US$1.6 billion and is valued over US$4.5 billion.
The Chinese unicorn has more than 700 customers and partners in China and overseas and provides face recognition technology to over 300 companies including China Mobile Communication Co, China UnionPay, Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi, and JD.com.