Driven to Excel
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Justin Doebele Read : 1279 Date : Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 07:06:01

    Courtesy of Artisense

    Hanky Sjafrie is one of a rare breed. The country has plenty of tech entrepreneurs, almost all of them in Indonesia. Very few have gone outside the country, and succeeded not just once but, potentially, twice. He has driven himself to succeed in the competitive automotive industry, at two of the most respected global firms—Audi and BMW. Now he has co-founded his own tech firm, with offices in Silicon Valley and Munich. Thus he has risen to the top of his field in Germany, and now is attempting to do it again as a U.S.-based entrepreneur. This track record puts Hanky among the elite of the country’s diaspora.

    Hanky’s firm, Artisense, was started about a year ago with a former Audi colleague Andrej Kulikov, with Hanky as chief data scientist and Andrej as chief executive. Artisense is entering the hot sector of self-driving vehicles—where everyone from Tesla to General Motors are now entering, and attracting even non-automotive players like Baidu and Google. The technology of ADAS—advanced driver assistance systems—is quickly transitioning from a high-tech dream into mainstream reality.

    “It’s like the race to the moon—who can develop the first truly self-driving car?” asks Hanky, 36, in an interview during a recent visit to Jakarta. His startup is chasing after a market forecast to grow to about $15 billion by 2030. His firm is positioned to be an arms supplier in the war to develop autonomous vehicles, as it is independent of any one carmaker. Instead, Artisense will develop and sell its software to any company looking to add autonomous features to any vehicle.

    One segment, or layer as Hanky calls it, is for applications that handle various aspects of driving, such as parking, routing and avoiding accidents. The second layer is for “smart city” infrastructure, such as the control of traffic lights.

    “We want to help companies make vehicles self-driving,” says Hanky. It isn’t just carmakers that will want these. While in Jakarta, Hanky gave a talk that included a discussion about building self-driving tractors and other agricultural equipment. Logistics firms could also have self-driving forklifts in warehouses, even delivery trucks. “Autonomous vehicles will have a huge impact on how we live,” says Hanky.

    Hanky has the pedigree to succeed. Before Artisense, he had more than seven years of experience working as a software engineer in Germany, including nearly three years at Audi and then moving to BMW, where he worked on the BMW remote control parking feature, that allows owners of the new 7 series to remotely park their cars from outside the vehicle.