Amsterdam-headquartered HERE Technologies, a mapping and location services company that used to be part of Nokia, has announced the launch of the Institute for Advanced Research in Artificial Intelligence (IARAI) in Vienna. The new research institution will focus on machine learning “machine learning that will deepen the location intelligence needed to build an autonomous world,” the company stated in a press release.

The IARAI is expected to work on topics related to autonomous vehicles, including better location awareness, traffic prediction, smart infrastructure, and so on. HERE itself plans to provide the researchers with datasets and share its expertise.

In addition to that, HERE plans to invest €25 million in the next five years to support the development of the IARAI, effectively paying for the physical space and salaries. The institute is expected to hire some 30 people at first to form the research team.

“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,” said Peter Kürpick, the newly appointed chief technology officer at HERE Technologies. “HERE sits on unique data and mapping assets. By focussing 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.”

The IARAI has also got a leadership team of two Austrian scientists: Dr. Sepp Hochreiter, an artificial intelligence pioneer from Johannes Kepler University in Linz; and Dr. David Kreil, an expert in data science from Boku University in Vienna.

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