Nauto gets new funding for global expansion of its camera-based telematics platform

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Nauto has closed a US$159m Series B financing round, which will allow the autonomous vehicle (AV) technology company to expand the growth and deployment of its retrofit safety and networking system into more vehicles worldwide.

Nauto’s artificial intelligence-powered (AI) system and data platform will help improve fleet safety and provide information for the further development of self-driving technology. The new funding has been led by a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp, and Greylock Partners, with other participants including previous strategic investors BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, the venture unit of global insurance provider Allianz Group, and Series A investors, Playground Global and Draper Nexus.

As well as increase the system’s use in more vehicles, the finance will also support the expansion of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development across multiple auto makers. As more of the company’s units get deployed, and enabled vehicles accumulate more miles, the Nauto network becomes more precise, gains an even greater understanding of human driving behavior, and provides more valuable data and safety features.

Nauto is an automotive data platform, powered by AI and an aftermarket dual-camera device, which can equip any vehicle or fleet with sophisticated safety and networking features. The Nauto 2 system also includes a new windshield-mounted hardware design, updated deep learning and computer vision algorithms, and smart cloud network informed by the accumulation of more than a million miles on urban streets and highways.

The telematics device uses both interior and exterior view cameras, and because Nauto learns from other drivers, the road, and conditions around vehicles in the network, fleets equipped with the system can automatically capture and upload video of significant events and insights in real time to help fleet managers improve overall driver performance, and enhance the safety and efficiency of an entire fleet. Over time, the Nauto data platform will provide information on the transition to, and co-existence of, human-driven and autonomous vehicles.

“While building an increasingly intelligent telematics business, Nauto is also generating a highly valuable data set for autonomous driving, at massive scale,” said SoftBank’s chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son. “This data will help accelerate the development and adoption of safe, effective self-driving technology. We believe in Nauto’s potential to revolutionize the automotive sector, and look forward to enabling their success.”

Greylock partner Reid Hoffman added, “Nauto is accelerating the transition from a human-driver dominant world to a safer, more efficient autonomous-driving era.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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