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Apex.AI CEO Jan Becker Received MotorTrend SDV Innovator Pioneer Award

The Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have broken new ground in the SDV space through research, development and the application of new automotive software.

Las Vegas, January 10, 2024 — Apex.AI CEO Jan Becker received the prestigious Pioneer Award at MotorTrend’s second annual SDV (Software-Defined Vehicle) Innovator Awards today at the Consumer Electronics Show. The SDV Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have broken new ground in the SDV space through research, development and the application of new automotive software.


Apex.AI develops safety-certified and scalable middleware software solutions for a host of mobility applications, enabling a faster transition to software-defined vehicles and software-defined mobility.


“Jan Becker is a true industry pioneer in every sense of the word,” said MotorTrend Group head of editorial Ed Loh. “He and Apex.AI are helping lead the transition to software-defined vehicles. Under Jan’s leadership, Apex.AI continues to develop breakthrough, scalable software solutions for a host of mobility applications. All of us MotorTrend love that in addition to being a leader in the software industry and a lecturer at Stanford, Jan also has a passion for classic cars. He’s the personification of the intersection of digital and analog representing the state of the industry today.”


For the last 25 years, Becker has helped shape autonomous driving, robotics systems development and software-defined vehicles. One of the original authors of the SAE autonomy levels, Becker holds more than 50 automotive patents. His research and scholarly articles on autonomous vehicles and automotive software have thousands of citations.


Becker founded Apex.AI to enable automakers to transition to software-defined vehicles faster, allowing them to offer mobility solutions that are safer, more convenient and more efficient. 


“On behalf of the entire team at Apex.AI, I’m honored to receive this recognition,” said Becker. “It is particularly gratifying to have our work recognized by the world’s largest automotive media group and true experts in the field. Our mission is to help improve the safety, efficiency and convenience of mobility by enabling a faster transition to software-defined vehicles and mobility.”


Becker is the former head of autonomous driving at Bosch North America. He was a member of the Stanford University team for the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007, and, since 2010, has been lecturing at Stanford on autonomous vehicles and driver assistance, introducing hundreds of students to automotive technology, vehicle automation and software-defined vehicles.


In 2016, he was invited to the White House to discuss autonomous vehicle technology and policy guidance and, in the same year, was listed as one of the top “60 people driving the self-driving movement” by Automotive News.


Recent Apex.AI success stories include:

  • MOIA: Developing the proprietary passenger management system for the autonomous VW ID Buzz for VW-owned MOIA ride pooling service.

  • AGCO: Apex.AI helped AGCO (a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology) shorten R&D timelines to deliver smart agricultural solutions for the future of highly automated farming.

  • KRONE and LEMKEN: Apex.AI is helping develop commercial-ready autonomous farming systems with KRONE, a manufacturer of agricultural machinery and precision agricultural technology, and LEMKEN, a company that manufactures innovative machines for tillage, sowing and sustainable plant care. The 'Combined Powers' concept vehicle is an autonomous drive unit that acts as a smart system that can plow, cultivate, sow, mow, turn and swath. The companies are now transitioning the concept carrier vehicle from the prototype stage to series production by leveraging Apex.AI’s Software Development Kit (SDK).

Jan Becker

Jan Becker is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Apex.AI, Inc. He is also the Managing Director of Apex.AI GmbH, our subsidiary in Germany.


Prior to founding Apex.AI, he was Senior Director at Faraday Future, responsible for Autonomous Driving, and Director at Robert Bosch LLC, responsible for Automated Driving in North America. He also served as a Principal Engineer at the Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA, USA.


Since 2010, Jan has been a Lecturer at Stanford University on autonomous vehicles and driver assistance. Previously, he was a visiting scholar at the University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and a member of the Stanford Racing Team for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.


In 2018, he co-founded the Autoware Foundation and was on the foundation’s board of directors until 2020. In 2019, Jan was appointed to serve on the external Advisory Board of MARELLI to provide strategic advice to the MARELLI Board. 


Jan earned a Ph.D. in control engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, a master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.


About Apex.AI

Apex.AI is an international developer of safety-certified base software, enabling a faster transition to software-defined vehicles and software-defined mobility. The company’s software products are based on proven open-source software, such as ROS or Eclipse iceoryx. Through a proprietary process, we add what is necessary to support commercial and safety-critical applications such as functional safety, real-time determinism and flawless performance. The company's flagship product is Apex.Grace, an automotive-grade, real-time, reliable software development kit. Apex.AI’s headquarters is located in Palo Alto, CA, USA, with offices in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart in Germany, Gothenburg in Sweden, Tokyo in Japan and Pangyo in South Korea. To date, Apex.AI has raised over $75 million USD from world-class venture, financial and strategic investors, including AGCOAirbus VenturesCanaanContinental AGDaimler TruckHELLA VenturesJaguar Land Rover’s InMotion VenturesLightspeedOrillion, Toyota VenturesVolvo Group Venture Capital and ZF.


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