Tel Aviv-based startup Ottopia, a technology company focused on remote assistance for self-driving cars, announced the closing of a $3 million seed funding round led by MizMaa Ventures with participation from Glory Ventures, Plug and Play, and NextGear. The startup, founded earlier this year, emerged from stealth mode to make the announcement.
Ottopia developed an advanced teleoperation platform for autonomous vehicles, which allows the human operator and the car’s artificial intelligence to work together during a remote intervention, through a combination of both human and artificial intelligence. The human assists the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) with decision-making in a complex scenario; the AV then executes that decision and navigates with a full suite of sensors and safety measures engaged, the company says
The funds will be used to expand the company’s R&D team and collaborate with autonomous vehicles companies to prove the versatility and enhanced safety of the platform.
Ottopia CEO Amit Rosenzweig said in a statement: “Our platform addresses all the core challenges in teleoperation, like network connectivity, safety, and cybersecurity. And the feedback so far from key players is very encouraging.”
“Autonomous vehicles are inevitable, but safe deployment is still a core roadblock,” said Aaron Applebaum, principal at Mizmaa Ventures. “Major players agree that there is a real, unmet need in this domain,” In this context, he adds: “We are thrilled to partner with Ottopia’s talented and battle-tested team to solve the problem of safe teleoperation. Their approach and drive give us full confidence that they’ll succeed.”
Ottopia was founded this year by Rosenzweig, the former head of Product Management for Microsoft’s leading cyber-security unit, and Leon Altarac, former head of the autonomous vehicles and robotics branch of the Israeli Defense Forces.
Rosenzweig is the brother of Oren Rosenzweig, the co-founder of Innoviz Technologies, a leading provider of LiDAR sensing solutions for mass commercialization of autonomous vehicles.