Cyngn is the startup that was formed thanks to the vision from its creator, Steve Kondik. The core team was able to raise tens of millions in an attempt to be the custom Android software solution for small smartphone OEMs like OnePlus and others. It seemed as if they were on the right track at first, but the whole project got derailed and ended up collapsing with many team members being let go. After a lot of silence, it now seems like the people who are left at Cyngn have shifted their focus away from Android software and are now working on autonomous self-driving car technology.
The whole Cyngn story really is a tragedy as so many people within the enthusiast Android community were hoping for the best for them at the start. After multiple rounds of venture capital funding, they ended up burning their bridges with various smartphone OEMs. Its CEO at the time, Kirt McMaster, dug their grave even further with hilarious comments about how they would put a bullet Google’s brain as they attempted to take control away from the company.
Even while all of this was going on, the free community driven CyanogenMod was still thriving and its death left a lot of people questioning the future of Android’s custom ROM development community. Thankfully some passionate team members formed LineageOS after they left Cyngn and it’s being used as the base for a lot of custom ROMs on the market right now. After it let so many people go, there hadn’t been much public information about the future of Cyngn since they were able to keep going.
They backed away from Android smartphone software development and now we have learned that they’re pivoting to autonomous self-driving car technology. There haven’t been many details revealed at this time, but the website’s job listing page shows they are looking for people in the self-driving car field. It’s also been reported that they’ve received a permit so they could actually test self-driving cars on public roads from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, with their company name appearing in the name of permit holders.
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