The race for the autonomous car is on, and hear FiveAI attack plan at Disrupt Berlin

Mike Butcher
TechCrunch Disrupt is returning to Berlin this December, and among the founders and developers speaking, we're pleased to have leading venture capitalists on stage to talk about fundraising, entrepreneurship and the trends they're looking to fund.

There’s no doubt that the competition to develop self-driving cars is hotting up. There are over 1 billion cars, trucks and buses on the planet, and that’s not even including off-road vehicles or heavy construction equipment, many of which could be turned into ‘ground drones’ in the future. This is a subject we’ll be turning to at Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin, December 4-5.

The race to own autonomous driving is fierce. Traditional car manufacturers like Ford and Volvo are facing off against tech companies like Google, Apple and Baidu. Alongside them are the startups like Zoox and Nutonomy. In Europe, one startups that is attracting attention is FiveAI. The firm has raised £26.8 million.

The Cambridge-based firm is building its own autonomous driving system. It will then use that AI-based platform to take on Uber and other transportation services with a fleet of self-driving taxis. Its investors include Lakestar Capital, as well as Amadeus Capital Partners, Notion Capital and Kindred.

The person behind this big vision is Stan Boland, CEO and Co-founder. Boland previously co-founded and was CEO of two VC-backed communications silicon and software companies, Element14 and Icera. These companies were bought by Broadcom and NVIDIA for an aggregate value of over $1 billion. He also has a great Cambridge pedigree, graduating in physics from the University of Cambridge back in the day.

Boland’s view is that no one single global vendor is going to win the whole autonomous market, and in fact, it will likely be split up into regional players. Maybe even “city by city battles" he’s previously said.

That will make for an interesting discussion when he gets on stage at Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin which takes place December 4-5 at the historic Arena Berlin in the heart of Berlin, Germany.

At Disrupt you’ll see the Startup Battlefield competition, in which a handful of startups pitch our judges with the hopes of winning the coveted Disrupt Cup and a massive cash prize. And you’ll get to chat with representatives from scores of promising startups in Startup Alley, see amazing on stage content, and unwind after a long day at the show with a cocktail and some new friends at the Disrupt after party.

Get your tickets today at Early Bird rates before prices go up 30% on 3 November!