Intel-backed startup is building 'brains' for self-driving cars
CGTN's Global business

When it comes to autonomous vehicles, there's more to the car than the shell. Other considerations include what's running the vehicle. The answer: a smart chip. 

Yu Kai, CEO of Horizon Robotics, the most valuable company in AI chips, says he's pushing Horizon to develop AI chips to enable autonomous cars to "see."

Unlike many competitors that are developing AI applications hosted on a network of remote servers, or on the cloud, Yu believes that embedded AI will carry the day because it is faster, less costly and consumes less power and bandwidth.

"We started our business about four years ago. In terms of valuation, we are the number one in this sector. The company is working on building the platform for cars, today cars are just normal mechanical products, but I think in the coming 10 years, old cars will become (like a) super computer running on four wheels...everything is on running base software, the old software is running on hardware," said Yu.

CGTN's Cheng Lei in interview with Yu Kai, CEO of Horizon Robotics. /CGTN Screenshot

CGTN's Cheng Lei in interview with Yu Kai, CEO of Horizon Robotics. /CGTN Screenshot

The near-term goal for Horizon, Yu said, is to develop chips that not only enable devices like cars to "see" its surroundings, but to also make decisions based on what they see. Horizon Robotics specializes in making artificial intelligence powered chips for automobiles and cameras.

"Who is going to be the Intel for the coming auto mobile industry who will be the Microsoft in the future of auto mobile industry. Right now we do not have plan to go IPO even though it is a mile stone. We prefer focus on the products which is my one hundred percent of current efforts," Yu pointed out.

"In the short term, we are facing uncertainty. But long term value, our mission is to make human life more safer and better like trainspotting and mobility. This kind of value is hold by everywhere in the world," said Yu.

In terms of Google and IBM quantum computing war, he says it will take 50 to 70 years before the tech really takes off.

"Quantum computing has been keep researching, but it is still at theoretical research stage. In the history, theory changed into practice advantages, must face the reality of the difficulties and obstacles. Even if the quantum computing is getting mature, that will not solving all the computing problems," Yu concluded.