The market for self-driving vehicles is a topic of interest for the global IT industry and governmental bodies. Apart from essential hardware like LiDAR and cameras, there’s a high demand for the software that orchestrates autonomous driving. AIMMO, renowned for its AD-DaaS solution—a specialized solution for autonomous driving AI data—exhibited its technology at ‘Auto.AI USA’, a significant event focused on future self-driving car technology development, held on June 28. With this, AIMMO is emerging as a global powerhouse in AI data solutions. We had the opportunity to converse with Oh Seung-taek, CEO of AIMMO, about his aspirations and strategy.
Q. Please introduce yourself.
Greetings, I am Oh Seung-taek, CEO of AIMMO. My first career began at an e-commerce company where I worked on data analysis. Observing mobile and AI trends, I noticed the rising prominence of AI technology and thus founded AIMMO, a venture I’ve been dedicated to for the past eight years.
Q. Could you tell us about AIMMO’s AI data solution?
AI technology finds many applications in industries such as chatbots, level 3 autonomous driving, robotics, and urban air mobility (UAM). AIMMO caters to the autonomous driving industry not just in Korea, but globally. We’re currently working on a project worth approximately $6 million in the US. This project processes around 1 terabyte of data, equivalent to 60 million sheets of paper. We’ve turned this data, such as pedestrian and vehicle information, into a solution. Our service curates machine-readable data to precise specifications like parking and four-lane traffic information. We aim to develop and sell technology catering to the needs of international markets rather than focusing solely on the domestic market.
Q. How did you prepare before entering the overseas market with AI data for self-driving cars?
We have formal contracts with global automotive OEM companies and collaborate with Tier 1 global firms. The international feedback is particularly positive. Our company showcased autonomous driving technology in the newly built Pangyo Zero City in 2018. Collaborating with Pangyo and sharing data, we’ve been developing level 4 autonomous driving technology that doesn’t necessitate a steering wheel. During this time, we enhanced our solution while executing the PoC, which, thankfully, led to contracts with foreign clients.
Q. Did you choose to set up your business in Pangyo due to its infrastructure like Zero City?
Primarily, our company needs a significant number of technicians and developers, making Pangyo, with its concentration of IT companies, a logical choice. The reasonable rental costs compared to Seoul and the Silicon Valley-like atmosphere were also appealing. Pangyo exudes a sense of inspiration, innovation, and challenge. Additionally, the convenience of commuting for data scientists and developers was another deciding factor.
Q. What’s the reaction when you mention to foreign clients that your head office is in Pangyo?
AIMMO is better recognized overseas than in Korea. Recently, I participated in an event, “San Francisco Auto AI”, and managed a booth, and it appears that Pangyo has more recognition than Gangnam. Given our headquarters’ location in Pangyo, further explanation wasn’t necessary. With global automobile companies visiting our office during our demonstration in Zero City, it’s fair to say that Pangyo has become Korea’s Silicon Valley.
Q. What are your global market goals for this year?
Having completed our pre-IPO round, an IPO is our means to secure liquidity and create a foundation for the company’s growth. While sales, technology, and global expansion are crucial, our aim is also to boost our team’s confidence in the company’s products. We plan to foster communication through initiatives like town halls and leaders’ workshops. We are establishing branches in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, aligning our growth with that of our global team.
Q. What are your visions for AIMMO a decade from now?
Cloud technology is equipped with ETL systems for data storage and retrieval. We’re highlighting the importance of ETL capabilities—extract, transform, and load data—to the autonomous driving vehicle market. We’re also developing the solution to be applicable in the robotics or UAM industry and plan to launch it in the data cloud market.
Q. Any advice for young entrepreneurs in Pangyo?
Even though I’m a new entrepreneur myself, I see running a business as an ongoing challenge. However, the business environment is much improved. Government support and various business support programs in Pangyo are readily available. I believe it’s vital to seize these opportunities and take on challenges more actively. Especially in the AI industry, speed is crucial. It’s important to be the first to market without overthinking.”