Autodesk Acquires Spacemaker, an Artificial Intelligence-based Urban Planner

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Robison Wells
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Autodesk, the maker of Revit and AutoCAD, has acquired Spacemaker, an artificial intelligence-based software company to increase automation opportunities for its portfolio.

The software helps resolve urban planning. Cities grow into megacities. A human urban planner at a desk (or even a whole firm of urban planners) can’t draft such complex developments. Spacemaker uses artificial intelligence to simplify workflows, to map lighting, traffic, and population massing.

Spacemaker is an Oslo, Norway-based company founded in 2016 that acts as an “assistant project manager” to help craft efficient and streamlined designs. By inputting relevant data into the system, the software analyzes existing structures, traffic routes, and population centers. The software can incorporate data such as sound, lighting, traffic, zoning, and even wind patterns. Using this data, Spacemaker’s software suggests alternate layouts and configurations.

The artificial intelligence generates a number of plans. A human can review these plans and determine which offers superior design. The AI can even compare designs against each other with simulations to provide statistical data that can be analyzed.

The acquisition was made for $240 million and is expected to close by the end of January 2021. For the immediate future, the company will operate independently of Autodesk until such time as Autodesk decides to integrate the system into its own design tools.

Autodesk, already one of the forefront leaders in 3d CAD, civil engineering, and drafting products, plans to jump further ahead by expanding its already impressive product offerings with its acquisition of Spacemaker’s artificial intelligence-based software.

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