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HomeLatest NewsTechnologyExclusive: OpenAI-backed Ghost Autonomy shuts down

Exclusive: OpenAI-backed Ghost Autonomy shuts down

Ghost Autonomy, a startup engaged on autonomous driving software program for automaker companions, has shut down, Prime Time News24 has realized.

The startup, which had raised almost $220 million, posted a notice on its web site that it ended worldwide operations and wound down the corporate as of Wednesday. The corporate employed about 100 individuals and had operations in Mountain View, Dallas and Sydney.

“We’re pleased with the substantial technical improvements and progress the Ghost crew made on its mission to ship software-defined shopper autonomy,” the notice on its web site reads. “The trail to long-term profitability was unsure given the present funding local weather and long-term funding required for autonomy improvement and commercialization. We’re exploring potential long-term locations for our crew’s improvements.”

The shutdown comes simply 5 months because the startup partnered with OpenAI by the OpenAI Startup Fund to realize early entry to OpenAI programs and Azure sources from Microsoft. Ghost additionally acquired a $5 million funding from OpenAI. It most not too long ago closed a $55 million down spherical final 12 months that included early buyers Keith Rabois at Founders Fund and Mike Speiser at Sutter Hill Ventures.

On the time, Ghost co-founder and CEO John Hayes touted the corporate’s plans to discover the functions of multimodal giant language fashions (LLMs) — AI fashions that may perceive textual content in addition to photographs — in self-driving.  He argued that LLMs supplied a brand new solution to perceive “the lengthy tail,” including reasoning to complicated scenes the place present fashions fall quick. Specialists have been skeptical of the strategy.

Like so many startups making an attempt to commercialize autonomous car expertise, Ghost has shifted its strategy through the years. The startup, initially referred to as Ghost Locomotion, was based in 2017. The corporate made its public debut two years later with $63.7 million in whole funding from Rabois of Founders Fund, Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures and Speiser at Sutter Hill Ventures, amongst others, and a plan to develop a package that will permit privately owned passenger automobiles to drive autonomously on highways. The corporate mentioned it will ship that tech in 2020.

After that deadline got here and went, Ghost raised one other $100 million in 2021 with an altered plan to concentrate on crash prevention tech. The Collection D funding spherical was led by Sutter Hill Ventures and the inclusion of Founders Fund and Coatue. Hayes instructed Prime Time News24 again in 2021 that the startup hadn’t fully closed the door on the buyer package mannequin however had turned its consideration to common collision avoidance expertise in an effort to get to market sooner.

His premise was that an autonomous driving system didn’t want to acknowledge and categorize objects previous to avoiding them. The corporate was as an alternative monitoring the motion of clusters of pixels in a scene. Most different autonomous programs start by figuring out an object after which use picture localization to find out its dimension, distance and different related options. That technique is used as a result of totally different objects — even these of the identical dimension — can behave otherwise.

Hayes, who was reached Wednesday through electronic mail, mentioned the corporate had accomplished a freeway driving product and was transferring in city environments by what he described as “last-mile supply.”

“In the end, the years required to deliver the product to market couldn’t be financed,” he wrote.



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