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Osram is out of general lighting and into developing self-driving AI technology

Osram is still making its business as usual as a high-tech player. In its most recent demonstration, it has invested in a Silicon Valley firm specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) for self-driving cars.
Osram is focusing on the development of AI technology for automobile

Fluxunit venture capital arm of Osram cooperated with other firms to place a combined $25 million round of Series A funding in Recogni, a San Jose, CA-based startup with operations in Osram headquarter of Munich,in Germany.

Recogni is regarded as designers of a vision-oriented artificial intelligence platform for autonomous vehicles. Its mission is helping to process data collected from optical and other sensors to help vehicles makes decisions in real time.

Such artificial intelligence today requires energy-intensive processing, Recogni focuses on creating high-performance and low-power AI processing to help make autonomous vehicles a reality.

Other players in the above-mentioned $25M round included lead investor GreatPoint Ventures as well as Toyota AI Ventures, BMW i Ventures, French automobile technology company Faurecia, and DNS Capital.

While Fluxunit operates independently as arm of Osram, its focus in sensing technology attacts a strong attention from Osram in using LED and laser chips for optical sensing purposes with a wide range of applications including facial recognition that helps lock and unlock accessories and cars, and that can even detect things like tiredness in a driver.

Osram also has great hopes for optical chips that work as health monitors and drone navigators, and that strengthen virtual reality systems.

Out of general lighting and into more high-tech photonics as well as Internet-connected LED lighting systems, Osram uses the lighting infrastructure to collect and analyze data.

The transformation has been financially hard, and Osram has decided for sale, hoping that an offer by Bain Capital and Carlyle Group successfully meets a Sept. 5 deadline next month.
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