Palo Alto, CA — Auto technology company Nauto, whose artificial intelligence-powered device, network and data platform has been deployed across fleet vehicles in the US to help them drive safer and smarter, is expanding into Japan. Former Toyota executive Tetsuro Ida has been tapped to lead its Japanese subsidiary, called Nauto Japan G.K.. He has relocated to Tokyo from Nauto’s Palo Alto headquarters and will report to Nauto CEO and founder Stefan Heck.
Nauto is an automotive data platform, powered by artificial intelligence and an after-market dual-camera device, which can equip any vehicle or fleet with sophisticated safety and networking features, such as the ability to detect distracted driving and provide constructive feedback to drivers. Nauto Japan will work to expand its system as a safety and efficiency solution for fleets in the Japanese market. The company is currently in discussions with numerous fleet, logistics, taxi, bus, and auto leasing entities in Japan. The company will also pursue strategic relationships with the insurance industry and drive agreements to expand the adoption of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development across multiple automakers, as it has in the US via strategic relationships with companies like BMW, Toyota and Insurance company Allianz Group.
“We are thrilled to have someone as qualified and passionate as Tetsuro Ida to lead the way for us in Japan,” said Nauto founder and CEO Stefan Heck. “There is an urgent need to improve safety on our roads. In addition, Japan is an important market in our efforts to gain a precise understanding of how the best drivers behave behind the wheel around the world; and having a base of operations in Japan will help us, in turn,to begin working on informing the development of autonomous vehicle technology in the future.”
“I am honored to take on this role in expanding Nauto’s ability to help make driving safer around the world,” said Ida. “According to Institute of Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis of Japan, accidents caused by drivers distracted by mobile phones are 8 times more likely to result in a fatality. By helping professional drivers who are behind the wheel of everything from vans and buses to delivery trucks and passenger cars, we are confident Nauto can create safer conditions in Japan as we are already doing in North America. We look forward to meeting with all transportation-dependent businesses in Japan.”
Tetsuro Ida joined Nauto’s team in Palo Alto in 2017, and brings a background in the intersection of the automotive and technology industries to the company. Prior to Nauto, he was at automotive marketplace Beepi, based in Silicon Valley. He also spent 8 years in various roles at Toyota in Japan and in Brazil. He earned an MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from Osaka University.
As more Nauto units get deployed and Nauto-enabled vehicles accumulate more miles, the Nauto network becomes more precise, gains an even greater understanding of human driving behavior and provides more valuable data and safety features. The resulting insights help improve fleet safety and operations, as well as save lives and reduce liability and expenses. Over time the Nauto data platform will inform the transition to and co-existence of human-driven and autonomous vehicles.
Because Nauto learns from other drivers, the road and conditions around vehicles in the Nauto network, fleets equipped with Nauto can automatically capture and upload video of significant events and insights in real time to help fleet managers improve overall driver performance and enhance the safety and efficiency of an entire fleet. Nauto’s scoring system, called VERA (Vision Enhanced Risk Assessment) includes a risk rating for the frequency and severity of distraction events.
About Nauto: Nauto is a Palo Alto, California based transportation technology company whose AI-powered data platform is making driving safer and fleets smarter. Nauto’s intelligent vehicle hardware saves lives by preventing collisions, improving driver behavior, and learning from the diverse data shared across its network. Nauto’s strategic partners include Allianz Insurance, Toyota and BMW and its backers include Playground Global, Draper Nexus and Index Ventures. Nauto’s team of data science and machine learning Ph.D’s, world class engineers, insurance and fleet industry veterans are developing Nauto’s products and deploying them to professional fleet and insurance industry customers. More information about Nauto is available at www.nauto.com, or on LinkedIn, Facebook and @NautoDriver on Twitter.
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