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“Working with Volvo Group has been a fantastic experience”

Friday, July 3, 2020
From VR headsets to autonomous cars, Univrses journey has been a winding path. Now, with a renewed focus, the Company has developed its first products for autonomous vehicles. Going forward, their application of computer vision is poised to contribute to some major trends and shifts to how vehicles move around in cities. Through MobilityXlab Univrses was given easy access to its partner companies. This has resulted in a great collaboration with the world leading transport solution provider Volvo Group.

Collaborating with Volvo Group 

MobilityXlab provides its partners with access to a global ecosystem of startups to innovate with and the ability to join forces with Sweden’s global industry leaders within mobility and connectivity. Volvo Group is one of its founding partners and a strong believer of creating shared value through partnerships. Univrses met with Volvo Group on their first day in MobilityXlab and entered into a fruitful collaboration to develop a new innovative solution for their construction aftermarket. 

“The collaboration with Univrses was underway when I entered the picture but it’s been great so far. I know from experience that developing something innovative and new from scratch is always challenging but I’m glad that we found a startup like Univrses that is willing to go on this journey together with us and our other collaboration partner Cetrez”, say Milen Kourtev, project lead and Senior Innovation Manager at Volvo Group Connected Solutions.

The application of computer vision and machine learning has the potential to solve various industrial problems and their collaboration is a fantastic example of how MobilityXlab helps nimble startups like Univrses more easily collaborate with first-class companies like Volvo Group. 

Building the autonomous future  

Back in 2015 Univrses was focused on headset tracking for AR and VR gaming. During this work a new technology came along that made it possible to put cameras in the headset instead of having them in every corner of the room. 

  • “It turns out that the technology to position a headset in a room by processing data from a camera is very similar to the technology to position a car on a road using a camera. So the company was able to adapt its technology quite easily to focus on autonomous cars and then more generally to focus on autonomous vehicles”, says Jonathan Selbie, CEO of Univrses. 

Today, Univrses focuses on perception capabilities for autonomous vehicles – processing the data from vehicle camera sensors. They use algorithms to help vehicles better understand their position in space, the 3D structure of the environment around the vehicle and the semantic nature of that environment. All so that the vehicle can plan a safe path and navigate obstacles. 

Startup advice 

Having been part of Mobilityxlab and collaborating with Volvo Group since the start of 2019, Jonathan has some advice for other startups that are thinking about applying for MobilityXlab. 

  • “First of all, it’s a great opportunity to collaborate with big industry players. But as a startup you have to be realistic about the time scales. Larger corporations have processes that startups don’t and that takes time. When it comes to MobilityXlab, my advice is to take as much advantage of them as you can, they’re great and supportive people and there are some really great opportunities there”, says Jonathan. 

Milen, who is part of Innovation Lab at Volvo Group Connected Solutions, couldn’t agree more. 

  • “Aligning expectations with transparency and a huge dose of humility means treating startups as team members or partners rather than suppliers or vendors”, says Milen. 

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Jonathan Selbie, CEO Univrses