New funding to aid Trillium’s aim of eliminating cyber-security threat to autonomous cars


Tokyo-based start-up Trillium Inc, a leading contender in the global race to close the cyber-security gap that threatens to hold up the widespread deployment of self-driving cars, has announced the successful closing of its Series A financing round.

Trillium was founded in 2014 with a team of executives and engineers from Japan, Europe and the USA, backed by lead investment from Global Brain, a Tokyo-based venture capitalist, which has now been joined by Mizuho Capital and DBJ Capital in the new funding.

Trillium designs and provides custom, multi-layer adaptive cyber-security systems, focused in the near-term on automotive needs, but applicable to the entire Internet of Things (IoT) spectrum. As Trillium moves into its next phase, rolling out a comprehensive, subscription-based security solution for all segments of the transportation industry, the company will consider executing a Series B investment round in the near future.

Trillium’s robust, comprehensive and cost-effective system secures all three key ‘cyber-threat domains’ in the car, with a software-based approach that is compatible with any architecture or operating system. The company says it can be implemented for as little as a tenth of the cost of competing solutions, most of which are still under development. Trillium is planning the 2018 launch of automotive ‘Security as a Service’ platform.

“With funding now in place, we are set to move quickly to market with a robust and urgently needed solution,” explained David Uze, Trillium’s CEO, an American who has lived in Japan for over 25 years. “Hundreds of articles on autonomous driving appear in the media every day, but almost none mention the ‘elephant in the room’: automakers do not yet have a reliable defense against cyber-threats. Period.

“One serious hack could immediately halt progress in automated driving. But we have the remedy. Our multi-layered solution is at an advanced stage. We have moved into the real-world testing phase via partnerships with a legendary Japanese Super GT racing team, and a leading maker of automotive semiconductors. We are now having in-depth discussions with several major automakers and tier-one suppliers. We’re ready to implement whenever they are.”

Uze elaborated, “With this new investment, we intend to move ahead, quickly but prudently, on several fronts:

• Accelerate development and deployment of our ‘SecureCAR’ and ‘SecureIoT automotive IoT cyber-security platforms;

• Expand in-vehicle implementation and testing of cyber-security retrofits on current-model connected vehicles;

• Expand business operations in Silicon Valley; and

• Establish a satellite penetration testing and engineering hub in Michigan.”

“Our solution provides three solid and distinctive advantages,” Uze continued. “One – where competitors offer a single firewall, we provide multi-layered defense-in-depth. Two – since defense must continually evolve, our infrastructure will deliver Security as a Service (SaaS) via real-time-update platforms that automakers or insurers can on-sell to car owners.

“We plan beta deployment in early 2018 and full commercialization by 2020. And three – our software-based approach is not only the lowest-cost solution on the horizon, for manufacturers the SaaS model shifts it from fixed cost to revenue generator.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).