BMW, Toyota Invest In Autonomous Mobility Startup Cartica AI
Israeli autonomous AI mobility startup Cartica AI announced the completion of a Series B investment round on Wednesday for an undisclosed sum. Participants in the funding round include Toyota AI Ventures, BMW i Ventures, German automaker Continental, and OurCrowd.
The funds will be used to launch Cartica AI’s Autonomous AI platform and scale its global operations with a focus on increasing the safety of cars and lowering casualties on the global motorways, according to a press statement.
Founded in 2018, Cartica AI is a spinoff of Cortica, a Tel Aviv company founded in 2007 that develops AI technology for visual perception and has raised some $70 million. Cortica was created by Professor Yehoshua Zeevi and two of his doctoral graduates Igal Raichelgauz and Karina Odinaev, and is based on sophisticated brain research.
Cartica AI says it provides solutions for the next generation of vehicles and mobility with an automotive visual intelligence platform built on “self-learning technology” and backed by more than 200 patents. The startup says it focuses on a broad range of solutions including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), mobility (L4/L5 autonomy), and localization,
Cartica AI developed an open platform visual intelligence CDK called Cartex 1.0 which can analyze and understand vehicle surroundings by translating video into light signature files, according to a company description on Start-Up Nation Finder. The perception and sensing platform “lets the car fully comprehend its environment” and “recognizes a wide array of fine-grained concepts including pedestrians, vehicles, and behavioral states.”
Cartica AI co-founder and CEO Igal Raichelgauz said the startup’s goal was to “introduce a novel, yet proven, AI approach to the automotive industry, which will pave the way for a safer and more autonomous transportation.”
“Our strategy is to build strong partnerships with leading automotive players in order to bring our solution to the high-volume automotive marketplace by the end of next year. Joining forces with these leading players is another substantial validation of our unique technology and business strategy,” he added.
“Cartica AI introduces a series of important technological advancements for an OEM ranging from low compute requirements and low energy consumption, to a transparent decision-making process of the computer vision-based perception stack. Updates to the system can be included within minutes without the need to re-run vast amounts of training data like neural network-based approaches,” said Kasper Sage, Partner BMW i Ventures. “This is of immense value before a new system release. We believe Cartica will thus play a key role in the development of Autonomous Driving and Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) by OEMs and Tier 1s, allowing them to design safe and predictable solutions that fulfill the strict requirements of the market.”
“We’re thrilled to invest in Cartica AI. It’s rare to see a company leverage over a decade of computer vision research and development applied to the toughest problems in autonomous driving,” said Toyota AI Ventures Founding Managing Director Jim Adler. “We’ve been impressed with the quality of Cartica’s team and their unsupervised learning approach to new perception solutions for the automotive market.
OurCrowd Senior Investment Partner Eli Nir said Cartica AI brings a “unique mix of a world-class technology, team, extremely strong IP portfolio, and a product that offers functional and cost benefits that are currently unheard of in the ADAS ecosystem, not to mention robust market traction that can convert into very sizeable deals.”