Intercept acquire Control F1 in deal to take technology global

Huddersfield-based software company Control F1 has been acquired by autonomous and driverless vehicles specialist Intercept IP as part of a package of deals that will see the group expand around the globe.

As well as the deal for Control F1, Intercept IP today announces new partnerships with Silicon Labs, Sony and AC Industrial.

The expansion drive comes following a successful funding round, involving investors including former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis and ex Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell.

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Along with the new partnerships, this will allow the business to continue pushing the boundaries of distributed intelligence, IoT and telematics.

The acquisition comes as a direct result of the successful Control F1-led iMotors project, funded by CCAV and in partnership with the University of Nottingham, which resulted in a number of new technologies, including a worldwide patented software system for driver recognition.

The technology can automatically identify who is behind the wheel from their driving style, within a few hundred metres of setting off on a journey.

Until recently, allowing computing, storage and analytics to take place on the edge device (for example a little black box in a car that monitors how it’s being driven, or a sensor on a window or door that sounds a burglar alarm if it’s disturbed) wasn’t financially viable.

But with its portfolio of IP, Control F1’s software expertise and a team of new technology-forward partners Intercept IP claims it is ready to challenge this.

Christian Galle, group chief executive, said: “In the past people looked at putting intelligence on the edge, but the price model just didn’t work. So what we’re doing is truly innovative – addressing AI and growth in distributed intelligence and looking at where we can put intelligence.

“Ultimately this means greater performance and productivity than ever before. And now, with Control F1’s software experience on board, as well as the expertise of Silicon Labs, Sony and AC Industrials, this will allow us to run applications on the edge device, allow for more intelligent contextual decision making and optimise data traffic, all running on ultra low power – truly groundbreaking stuff.”

As well as the Control F1 dela, the new partnership also involves Californian-based Silicon Labs who will provide low-power processors, Japanese giant Sony who will provide GPS chips – taken from Sony cameras and applied in a

completely novel way to enable Intercept IP’s telematics and edge devices and Philippines STI/AC Industrials who will provide additional technology platform expertise.

Theo Paphitis, Intercept IP Investor, said: “The UK has a great reputation for creating patents, but historically we’ve not always been so great exploiting them. That’s why Intercept IP always looks at where the value is first, and then develop patents around real business problems.

“We hope that – in uncertain times for business and in the face of Brexit – developing products and software here in the UK will not only give us a solid foundation for our business, but also allow us to make a meaningful contribution to the economy. We want to show that British business can triumph, whatever the future may hold.”

The group now plans to build intellectual capital and develop products and software here in the UK for export around the world.