Autonomous Tech Startup Raises $50 Million to Retrofit Traditional Cars

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Drive.ai has raised $50 million.

The Series B round was led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from GGV Capital and existing investors, including Northern Light Venture Capital, who led Drive.ai’s series A.

The funding will be used to scale the Silicon Valley startup and expand its global reach.

Drive.ai’s technology is grounded in deep learning, powering its self-driving system to learn driving routes and scenarios at a fast pace and low cost. The company’s business strategy is aimed at powering fleets of vehicles with retrofit kits, converting traditional vehicles into self-driving models.

“Our company is out to transform the relationship between people, cars, and the world around them,” said Sameep Tandon, CEO of Drive.ai. “The self-driving race is a complex mix of technology, business models and policy.”

Drive.ai also added Carmen Chang and Andrew Ng to its Board of Directors. Chang is chairman and head of Asia at NEA. Ng is a deep learning expert who led artificial intelligence projects at Baidu and Google.

“Self-driving transportation is one of the most exciting and important innovations of our time,” said Chang. “To make self-driving a reality requires an understanding of technology, public policy, business and global society as a whole.”

“The cutting-edge of autonomous driving has shifted squarely to deep learning,” said Ng. “Even traditional autonomous driving teams have ‘sprinkled on’ some deep learning, but Drive.ai is at the forefront of leveraging deep learning to build a truly modern autonomous driving software stack.”

Founded in 2015 by a team out of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, Drive.ai has grown to more than 70 employees.

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