Humanising Autonomy is building human-centred tools that define how autonomous systems interact with people through better understanding of human behaviour. Their pedestrian intent prediction platform makes autonomous vehicles safer and more efficient in urban environments.
The problem and solution
Autonomous systems are unable to understand the complexities of human behaviour, which creates one of the primary obstacles in the development of automated vehicles in cities. Current solutions don’t consider the full range of human behaviour at street level. This lack of perceptive abilities and understanding makes vehicles unsafe around people, and slows down the technology’s adoption rate and efficiency in navigating urban environments.Humanising Autonomy has built a human intent prediction application that is able to recognise and predict human behaviour from
visual camera footage. Its main application is in automated vehicles, as it allows the vehicle to make better decisions in terms of vehicle path planning and pedestrian interactions to improve the safety, societal acceptance and deployment of Level 2+ Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Fully Autonomous Vehicles.
The three founders met during the Innovation Design Engineering Programme at Imperial and the Royal College of Art. Our first concept originated in a group project that we were part of, during the final year of the Innovation Design Engineering course. During this project we developed an interface named Blink that allowed for two-way communication between pedestrians and autonomous vehicles.
Enterprise Lab support
We joined the Venture Catalyst Challenge in 2017 with an idea, a prototype we developed during our final year and the drive to turn this into a business. The VCC helped us take the first steps through business coaching and investor introductions, and was a great platform from which to develop our business proposition. After learning how the industry responded to that initial idea, we decided to develop a new product, which is the current platform, and registered formally as a company. The Imperial Venture Mentoring Service helped us connect with great advisers. We now have advisers based in London and the US who have supported us during our journey from Imperial students to entrepreneurs.
The team is currently scaling quickly – we have now grown to over 15 people and have validated and tested our product. We have started collaborations with mobility partners, such as Daimler Mercedes Benz and Airbus, and our
real-time behaviour prediction platform is being deployed with both human-driven and automated vehicles, making it compatible with the various sensor and processing requirements.
Humanising Autonomy just raised a funding round of more than $5 million. This allows us to double the team and expand the technology globally. We are already active in the US, Germany, the UK and Japan and are now looking to expand partnerships for integration of our product. Even more future opportunities lay in tackling other industries such as infrastructure and manufacturing.
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurial students
Be persistent, and don’t be afraid to share your idea with a lot of different people!