Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Michigan start-up develops software to enhance video data processing

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 3rd, 2019

A University of Michigan (U-M) start-up has developed software that makes it easier and more affordable to access and manage video data.

Voxel51 is targeting companies that work with video but have difficulty extracting the information they need from it. The start-up is focusing initially on driverless car makers, which rely on data from video footage of road scenes but struggle due to the complexity and size of the video data.

The software platform developed by Voxel51 uses artificial intelligence to enable advanced video recognition, with the ability to identify and follow objects and actions in each clip. By speeding up the process of extracting video data, the technology enables companies to search for very specific content, like a pedestrian walking a dog.

“There’s a clear need for the kind of cutting-edge AI technology that’s been developed by Voxel51 in the automoted vehicle space, and we’re enthusiastic about the progress that’s already being made,” says Bryce Pilz, director of licensing at U-M Tech Transfer.

“Right now, Voxel51 technology is helping autonomous vehicles make sense of what they are seeing on the road so that they can make better decisions, and we have no doubt that we’ll eventually see these innovations making their way into production vehicles, making them safer, more efficient and reliable,” Pilz says.

The start-up has raised $2 million in venture capital. According to co-founder and U-M professor Jason Corso, Voxel51 employs 15 people and plans to hire many more.

“Since the dawn of modern computing, humans have been adapting to computers,” he says. “I think it’s about time computers started adapting to us, and that involves a deeper understanding of the visual world. Voxel51’s new platform is an important step in that direction.”


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