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Delphi Acquires Autonomous-Car Software Firm

August 10, 2015

Professor Raj Rajkumar poses between CMU's latest self-driving car, a Cadillar SRX, and the university's first autonomous vehicle 30 years ago. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Professor Raj Rajkumar poses between CMU's latest self-driving car, a Cadillar SRX, and the university's first autonomous vehicle 30 years ago. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Delphi Automotive, an automotive parts giant headquartered in the U.K., has acquired Ottomatika Inc., a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff company specializing in software and systems development for self-driving cars.

Ottomatika, led by Engineering Professor Raj Rajkumar, spun off from Carnegie Mellon in 2013. The company drew an investment from Delphi in November of 2014. The university has spun off 138 companies since 2009.

The Delphi Drive system, powered with Ottomatika software, was showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Additionally, in April the combined software from Delphi and Ottomatika enabled the longest drive by an automated vehicle in North America. The Delphi vehicle completed a 3,400-mile trip from San Francisco to New York in autonomous mode 99 percent of the time. During the nine-day trip, the vehicle navigated through construction zones and met a variety of traffic and weather conditions, according to Carnegie Mellon University.

“The founding and purchase of Ottomatika validates Carnegie Mellon’s pioneering strengths in automation, robotics and software engineering,” Rajkumar said. “Creating high-tech companies in Pittsburgh benefits the university and regional economic development.”

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