Here establishes international AI research institute for transportation applications


Global mapping and location services company Here Technologies has announced the establishment of the new international Institute for Advanced Research in Artificial Intelligence (IARAI), with the facility to be located in the Austrian capital, Vienna.  

The IARAI will be the world’s first global machine-learning research institute to use industrial-scale geolocation data. As an independent institution, the IARAI will conduct research in machine-learning that will deepen the location intelligence needed to build an autonomous world, including heightened location awareness for autonomous vehicles (AVs); more accurate, self-healing maps; better traffic prediction models; and optimized fleet management and city infrastructure.

Here will cooperate closely with the institute by providing its unique datasets and expertise. The groundbreaking initiative will give Here greater access to emerging technological capabilities in the company’s core field of interest, developed on its data.

Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can extract complex patterns from vast numbers of data points, and in so doing, are able to self-correct and learn patterns. By applying these algorithms to location data, the IARAI is poised to tackle the most pressing location-based problems in industry and society.

Over a five-year period, Here will provide the institute with more than US$28m (€25m) in critical financial assistance to support the IARAI’s development, including funding for the physical space and research positions. The current focus is on international recruitment to create a research team of approximately 30 people.

The IARAI will be led by two renowned experts in machine learning and data science respectively: Dr Sepp Hochreiter (above), an AI pioneer and inventor of the long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network framework, from Johannes Kepler University in Linz; and Dr David Kreil (below), a leader in data science, from Boku University in Vienna.

“The IARAI is our gateway to build the next generation of location services, from self-healing maps to high-level automation, through leading-edge AI research,” explained Peter Kürpick, the newly appointed chief technology officer at Here Technologies.

“We sit on unique data and mapping assets. By focusing on deep learning and the large-scale testing of that data, the institute will expand our understanding of how location can be represented through neural networks, the core components that will fuel these next-level location services.

We are thrilled to partner with doctors Hochreiter and Kreil to tap into the potential of these technologies.”
Hochreiter commented, “The unique data and expertise that Here offers for open academic research is a game-changer for the construction of realistic AI models. This openness made Here a very attractive partner for the IARAI.”

Kreil added, “The IARAI and Here bring together, for the first time, the wider scientific community and real-world location data on a grand scale. This raises unique opportunities for academic research and industrial applications.”
Here has also announced that its Location Suite has been integrated into the Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud. The new integration enhances Oracle’s line-up of IoT applications by improving location precision for multiple applications, particularly those in the logistics industry, including remote warehouse operations management, freight transportation and last-mile delivery, and supply chain spatial health metrics.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.