The automobile market has stretched far beyond just building and engineering reliable, long-lasting cars, with more automakers than ever dipping their toes into the world of technology and investing in futuristic features like autonomous vehicle systems. Toyota is one of these companies, having recently announced a partnership between the Toyota Research Institute and Allianz Ventures. The collaboration will give rise to Nauto, a data-collection startup that will use human driver data to improve autonomous driving.
Toyota isn’t the only one cashing in on Nauto. BMW i Ventures and another unnamed auto manufacturer also have stakes in the startup, as they seek to use the system’s technology for the same purpose. The anonymous data collection is done using a small box containing a camera and computer that attaches to a vehicle’s windshield. The camera will then monitor the driver’s habits, learn how to navigate complicated roads, and collect traffic data.
Eventually Nauto would like to program its technology into all vehicles in order to collect even more data for future autonomous vehicle systems, but for the moment, Toyota, BMW, and another manufacturer are the only ones involved in the startup. BMW and Toyota have worked together in the past and are currently also said to be developing a vehicle together, so they’re no strangers to collaborating.