A year ago Jaguar Land Rover launched its tech incubator program in Portland, Oregon, and began investing in automotive technology. The latest firm to land a position in the highly-esteemed startup accelerator is Mycroft, a company from Kansas City specialising in artificial intelligence technology.
Mycroft CEO Joshua Montgomery is thrilled that the company got into the program, which he said will accelerate its growth.
The CEO aims to see Mycroft’s tech used in Jaguar Land Rover vehicles by 2020, with a focus on voice control which is currently one of the most complained about features of a new car, something the company feel confident they can remedy for JLR.
“This is a huge opportunity, Mycroft solves this problem, which means we have the potential to be the voice technology for more than 80 million vehicles globally.” Says Montgomery.
Last year Mycroft developed an open-source, artificial intelligence device which rivals Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri. Mycroft utilises natural language processing technology which incorporates computer science, artificial intelligence and computational linguistics to understand human language as it is spoken.
The tech works via the Internet, once connected users can give a voice command to perform various tasks. A driver of a Jaguar Land Rover vehicle will be able to verbally ask for directions or check appointments, even perform tasks such as locking the doors or turning on lights, there are many possibilities how this tech will be used in the near future.
Jaguar Land Rover incubator program will be honing firms focused on emergency response technology, artificial intelligence and the electric vehicle ecosystem.
“We’re thrilled to see what our new startups bring in 2017 as we continue pushing the boundaries of mobility and the connected car,” said Rupert Poole, senior collaborations manager for future technology. “With the addition of HAAS Alert, Mycroft and OpConnect, we further diversify and strengthen the portfolio of ventures the Incubator has supported.”
Jaguar Land Rover had this to say about each of the new students that are taking part in the Incubator scheme, what technology is being worked on and how it will be implemented in future JLR vehicles:
“HAAS Alert is a mobile platform for connected cars, autonomous vehicles and smart cities that allows first responders and other city services to send notifications to nearby drivers about road and roadside safety issues such as accidents, emergency vehicles in transit or first responder personnel on scene. The technology can also reroute traffic accordingly via navigation apps. Working with HAAS Alert, Jaguar Land Rover has the opportunity to explore potential links between connected cars and safety, and investigate new ways of keeping drivers better informed when on the road.
“Mycroft is Artificial Intelligence hardware that uses software to recognize natural language and respond to voice commands. Mycroft was built with open source software, which means that programmers have the ability to constantly contribute new features and modules and make it more capable, more useful and more fun to use. From reducing driver distractions, to increasing convenience and usability, Jaguar Land Rover is eager to team up with Mycroft and explore the many ways voice activation for the car can enhance the customers’ experience.
OpConnect sells and operates electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, a vital component of the electric vehicle ecosystem. Customers can use the OpConnect website to manage their accounts, locate the closest EV charging station and remotely check the status of their battery recharging. OpConnect charging stations can also be used to share data and manage fleet operations. Both Jaguar Land Rover and OpConnect are committed to reducing gas emissions by encouraging mass adoption of electric vehicle technology. With the recent announcement of the Jaguar I-PACE, Jaguar Land Rover has shown that it remains on the edge of innovation in this space, and will partner with OpConnect to explore future opportunities.”