Borgward Group, a global automotive startup with more than 100,000 cars off the production line since the brand was reborn in 2015 in China, has opened its new U.S. headquarters and R&D center in Sunnyvale, Calif. Borgward also just unveiled its new AI safety and reliability technology for autonomous vehicles this week at the O’Reilly AI Conference in San Francisco.
Borgward’s U.S. R&D center is a key milestone in the company’s global expansion strategy, which includes selling both traditional and electric vehicles (EVs) across nearly 20 countries in Europe, China, South East Asia, Africa and South America. Borgward launched its most recent BXi7 fully electric SUV and its GT BX6 SUV in May 2018, and has two new models set to launch in 2019. The company plans to enter the U.S. market in the next three years.
“Our U.S. R&D center provides a crucial gateway for the brand’s entry into the North American market in 2021,” said Jason Yang, president and CEO, Borgward Group. “This expansion also highlights the speed and scale of our development model in having high-quality, high-value production cars available globally, and leveraging the venerable Borgward brand, which has a rich legacy of safety.”
Borgward also is taking a different approach to safety than other EV/AD automakers whose strategies rely mainly on sensors and field-testing. By contrast, Borgward’s platform will serve as a crucial addition in leveraging AI technology that predicts risky behaviors and integrates learnings back into product development, in order to avoid collisions.
The platform is currently in prototype, with three unique risk features – automatic honking, advanced risky behavior identification and labeling, and marking of high-risk physical areas – to be incorporated into Borgward production cars within three years. Borgward says it also will make its platform available to other OEMs in a long-term effort to create a global industry standard in safety testing for all autonomous cars.
“No autonomous automaker has been able to deliver a safe and reliable product,” said Zhou (Joe) Xing, director of artificial intelligence for autonomous driving, Borgward Group, and the creator of this technology. “This is in part because the industry’s reliance on real road testing cannot generate enough data to predict human error or other risks at a rate sufficient enough to ensure a reliable response. Our AI platform aims to solve this problem, not just for Borgward’s products, but for the AD industry so that all communities can benefit from safe self-driving cars.”