A developer of autonomous technology, nuTonomy Inc., has just completed a fundraising campaign and rounded up approximately $3.6 million of good ol’ seed money. The advanced software developer and MIT spinoff received investments from Signal Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, and Dr. Steven LaValle, among others. The investments will go to funding continued autonomous vehicle testing in the USA and Singapore, where the governments are working alongside nuTonomy and other industry leaders to achieve fully functional autonomous vehicle technology. nuTonomy is currently integrating and testing software in the USA and Europe, with the intention of automotive partners deploying autonomous vehicles within the next few years.
“nuTonomy’s vision is to deliver the world’s smartest autonomous vehicle and be the software engine of automated cars,” says Karl Iagnemma, CEO and cofounder of nuTonomy. “By applying advanced techniques from the aerospace industry, we’re creating a self-driving car that is safe, confident and drives in a truly ‘human-like’ manner.”
Since 2005, with funding from NASA and DARPA (no strangers to autonomous tech), nuTonomy has developed robotic technology and dozens of autonomous vehicle prototypes. nuTonomy is utilizing similar techniques that have been applied to autonomous vehicles such as spacecraft and airplanes as well as other undisclosed advanced crafts with focus on human-like decision-making. The idea is to overcome rigid, logic-based decision-making that causes self-driving vehicles to be jerky, uncertain, and unnatural.
“We are impressed with nuTonomy’s technical acumen, especially their leadership in decision-making methods for vehicles,” comments Amit Garg, Samsung Global Innovation Center. “Partnering across the spectrum in the industry will be essential to turning years of research into an everyday reality.”
nuTonomy CTO and cofounder Emilio Frazzoli directed the first testing of on-demand autonomous vehicles open to the public in Singapore in 2014. Allowing 500 Singaporean citizens to successfully experience driverless car service, SMART (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology) proved the demand for autonomous vehicles in Singapore and hopefully beyond.
“Autonomous vehicle technology will disrupt and redefine the future of urban mobility and transportation,” says Chris Thomas of Fontinalis Partners. “We feel strongly that nuTonomy’s robust approach to decision-making will position them to be a leading player in this disruption.”