Helm.ai + Honda Xcelerator: Together Driving Innovation

We’re excited to announce we’re collaborating with Honda Xcelerator

3 min readAug 21, 2020

One of the most exciting things about being a startup is bringing new ideas to big companies that value and foster innovation. That’s why we are excited about the work we are doing with Honda Xcelerator, Honda’s Silicon Valley-based program that serves as a sort of entry point to global Honda for startups and other innovators. The idea is if you’re an advanced startup like Helm.ai, Honda Xcelerator can help you quickly begin tangible collaborations. But like more traditional accelerators, if you’re a startup with an idea that needs more baking or backing, they might help you bake or back it. If you’ve got something very hardware-focused, then they can match you with an R&D unit.

Among Helm.ai’s attributes are pioneering software including hardware-agnostic flexibility, high capacity to generalize to new environments, and increased accuracy in edge cases resulting in dramatic improvements in the endpoint functionality and safety of autonomous systems, as well as higher capital efficiency. That hardware-agnosticism in particular makes our technology portable; it makes partnerships a lot simpler and more exciting.

“The Honda Xcelerator program is spearheading Honda’s efforts to discover and pilot emerging technologies that offer performance beyond the current state-of-the-art,” said Raymond Zheng, Managing Director for Corporate Venturing and Open Innovation at Honda Innovations, where the program is centered.

The Honda Xcelerator team took interest in Helm.ai’s promising approach. It is our technologies’ and methodologies’ ability to “accurately and very scalably understand objects and environments,” especially when they can be applied to many applications and use cases, that caught the attention of the Honda Xcelerator team.

“Software is the biggest differentiator in AV,” remarked our CEO, Vlad Voroninski, at the recent SEMICON West virtual conference this past month. “The bet we made early on is we would be able to offer strategic value beyond what auto manufacturers can do internally and what other suppliers can provide externally, by differentiating in perception, prediction and generally any AI autonomy stack component.”

“The Xcelerator program has offered a reliable way to showcase Helm.ai’s autonomous driving technology by facilitating close collaboration with Honda,” said Voroninski.

Helm.ai’s collaboration with the Honda Xcelerator program has already demonstrated success, providing both teams a chance to optimize their software and hardware, explore new use cases and assess how best to leverage our individual strengths to stay ahead of our respective competitors.

“We enjoyed our work with Helm.ai and look forward to exploring further advances the company is making in this field,” said Zheng. “Helm.ai’s technology offers a promising approach to AI and really addresses some of the big challenges of applying AI in the field today.”

Honda Xcelerator would know. In addition to its legacy technology accelerator and incubator offerings, the program is increasingly focusing on partnerships with innovators transforming business across all funding stages and finding a path to strategic relationships. The uniqueness of the Honda Xcelerator relationship with Helm.ai lies in unique philosophies and approaches for both parties and organizations’ commitment to breakthrough innovation at-scale.

Helm.ai’s collaboration with Honda Xcelerator is the latest in a number of exciting developments this year.

The award-winning full-stack autonomy software Helm.ai licenses harbors our Deep Teaching unsupervised learning approach to AI for automation and autonomous driving. Deep Teaching means learning from more data-per-dollar, by multiple orders of magnitude. Accuracy and generalization is achieved faster and cheaper than conventional AI methods, even with the initial effort of setting up the pipelines.

In addition to our $13M seed funding round and the public debut of our Deep Teaching approach to AI, we’ve got more to share in the coming weeks. To stay tuned on Helm.ai, Deep Teaching and our autonomous driving technologies, be sure to subscribe to the Helm.ai YouTube channel, follow us on Twitter and visit the Helm.ai website




Helm.ai is building the next generation of AI technology for automation.