Self-driving tech startup Voyage Auto raises $31 million in funding

The investment round was led by Franklin Templeton, with significant participation from Khosla Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, and …

A self-driving technology startup called Voyage Auto has raised $31 million in Series B funding.

The investment round was led by Franklin Templeton, with significant participation from Khosla Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, and Chevron Technology Ventures.

The latest funding round brings Voyage Auto’s total capital raised to $52 million.

Voyage says its mission is to deliver on the promise of self-driving cars, adding it will “deliver an autonomous ride-hailing service to customers who truly need it”.

Voyage says it be utilizing the new capital to ready its self-driving technology for commercialization, grow its team of self-driving experts, expand its fleet of G2 self-driving cars in California and Florida, and introduce the company’s G3 self-driving car.

Barbara Burger, president of Chevron Technology Ventures, says: “Chevron has been supporting the public’s transportation needs for over 100 years.

“As our customers’ mobility needs and preferences change, we want to continue to be part of their journeys. Our investment in Voyage affirms this commitment.

“We established the Future Energy Fund in 2018 with an initial commitment of $100 million to invest in breakthrough technologies that enable the ongoing energy transition.

“The fund looks for technologies that lower emissions and support low carbon value chains. Our investment in Voyage fits well within the objectives of the Future Energy Fund while also informing our perspective on the changing energy landscape.”

Like many self-driving car projects, Voyager began with a simply retrofitted common car – the Ford Fusion – which Voyager named the G1.

The next stage was the introduction of the G2 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan.

The company is planning to choose another car as its “G3” development platform.

One of Voyager’s early investors was Jaguar Land Rover.

Sebastian Peck, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, says: “Since investing in the company’s Series A in 2018, it’s been fantastic to watch the business go from strength to strength.

“The company has made some incredible hires which have been instrumental in enabling the development of Voyage’s state-of-the-art technology.

“We’re excited to continue working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage.

“They’ve shown us that they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality, sooner than anyone would have thought.”

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Silicon Valley-based Voyage Raises $31 Million in Latest Funding Round

The latest funding round was led by Franklin Templeton, with significant participation from Khosla Ventures, Jaguar Land-Rover’s InMotion Ventures, …
Silicon Valley-based Voyage Raises $31 Million in Latest Funding Round

author: Eric Walz

Autonomous driving startup Voyage has announced a $31 million Series B funding round. The latest funding round was led by Franklin Templeton, with significant participation from Khosla Ventures, Jaguar Land-Rover’s InMotion Ventures, and Chevron Technology Ventures. The new funding bring to total amount raised by Voyage to $52 million.

Voyage spun out of online learing platform Udacity in 2017 and its co-founder is Oliver Cameron, who serves as the company’s CEO. Cameron led the development of Udacity’s self-driving car course and worked closely with Sebastian Thrun, the founder of Google self-driving car program.

We’re excited to continue working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage. They’ve shown us that they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality, sooner than anyone would have thought.” said Sebastian Peck, Managing Director of Jaguar Land-Rover’s InMotion Ventures in a statement.

While most of the industry to focused on deploying self-driving cars in urban settings, Palo Alto-based Voyage is targeting retirement communities with its on-demand ride-hailing service using a fleet of autonomous vehicles.

Voyage is currently testing and refining its technology in central Florida at The Villages, the nation’s largest 55 and over retirement community. According to U.S. Census data released in March 2018, The Villages was the 10th in the annual list of fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States with over 125,000 residents.

Voyage is also operating at The Villages in San Jose, California, offering its on-demand transportation service to 4,000 residents. The San Jose community is Voyage’s first commercial partner.

Operating in private communities like The Villages allows Voyage to collect valuable driving data and improve and refine its autonomous driving technology in a much safer and more controlled environment than a busy city street.

At the same time, Voyage is also providing a valuable service to older residents of the communities, many of whom cannot not drive due to physical limitations. Village residents can summon a ride within the community with an easy to use iPhone app.

The Villages is also a gated community, with limited traffic and other obstacles a self-driving car must learn to deal with if operating in an urban setting. Many residents get around using only golf carts. Speed limit within the community is 25 mph, making it a safer place for Voyage perfect its self-driving vehicles before rolling them out at scale.

Voyage’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans, which are the same model Waymo uses, are outfitted with a suite of senors, including cameras, lidar and radar to operate autonomously. Right now there is safety driver behind the wheel to monitor the vehicle. The driver assists passengers with getting into and out of the vehicle, if needed.

Cameron wrote in a blog post that over the past two years Voyage’s engineering team has made significant improvements in its autonomous vehicle software, including transitioning to a safety-critical and certifiable middleware. The company says its new prediction engine has over an 10x performance increase to detect objects such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Voyage also said it creating triple redundancy in its perception system for fail-safe operation. The perception system serves as the “eyes” of the vehicles and refining it for the highest degree of safety is top priority for the team at Voyage.

The company’s prediction engine uses a combination of advanced probability models, high-definition maps, and time-based behavior models to predict what’s happening around its vehicles.

Voyage said it will use the new funds to ready its self-driving technology for commercialization, grow its team of self-driving experts and expand its fleet of self-driving vehicles in California and Florida. Voyage plans an eventual expansion outside of these of gated communities into more complex environments.

Voyage is one of the most promising new startups coming out of Silicon Valley. Last year, Cameron was recognized by Forbes in its annual 30 Under 30 list, chronicling the most innovative entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada. The company has also made some high-profile hires as it grows.

In June 2018, Voyage announced it hired engineer Drew Gray as its new CTO and Director of Autonomy. Gray worked as engineering director at Uber ATG, as well as stints at Otto, Cruise and Tesla. The company also brought onboard Davide Bacchet from Tesla where he worked on the company’s Autopilot. Bacchet also worked on autonomous driving at EV startup NIO.

Voyage said it increased its total headcount by 300% since its first Series A in Jan 2018.

In a blog post on Medium, Cameron wrote “Our mission is to deliver on the promise of self-driving cars, and we are thrilled to be working with forward-thinking investors who deeply believe in that mission. Together with these new resources, we will deliver an autonomous ride-hailing service to customers who truly need it.”

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Jaguar Land Rover VC invests in autonomous taxi start-up

The investment is part of a $31m Series B fundraise, led by Franklin Templeton, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Chevron Technology …

Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm InMotion Ventures has announced its follow-on investment into autonomous vehicle manufacturer Voyage.

The investment is part of a $31m Series B fundraise, led by Franklin Templeton, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures. It brings the total capital raised to $52m.

Voyage will use the fresh funding to bring its technology to commercialization, grow its team, expand its fleet of G2 self-driving cars, and introduce its G3 self-driving car.

Founded in 2017, Voyage is developing autonomous vehicle technology for communities with limited transportation options.

The company’s first driverless product is designed to ensure a viable option to move independently within a community, beginning with a self-driving car that can travel point-to-point within communities at speeds up to 25mph.

So far, the company has been trialling its products in retirement communities in California and Florida, with 4,000 and 125,000 residents respectively, it said.

The company has been experiencing a phase of rapid growth since its inception, having grown its headcount by 300 percent since its Series A in January 2018.

Its new hires include CTO Drew Gray, previously of Uber ATG, Otto, Cruise, and Tesla and director of autonomy Davide Bacchet, also previously of Tesla.

The company has also deployed its waitlist to communities containing over 1.1 million residents.

“Since investing in the company’s Series A in 2018, it’s been fantastic to watch the business go from strength to strength,” said Sebastian Peck, Managing Director, InMotion Ventures.

“The company has made some incredible hires which have been instrumental in enabling the development of Voyage’s state-of-the-art technology.

“We’re excited to continue working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage. They’ve shown us that they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality, sooner than anyone would have thought.”

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JLR invests in autonomous vehicle manufacturer Voyage

In a release published by Jaguar Land Rover, the fundraising campaign was led by Franklin Templeton, with participation from Khosla Ventures and …
Voyage is developing autonomous vehicle technology for communities with limited transportation options available.
Voyage is developing autonomous vehicle technology for communities with limited transportation options available.

New Delhi: British automaker Jaguar Land Rover venture capital arm InMotion Ventures has made follow-on investment into autonomous vehicle manufacturer Voyage as part of the latter’s $31 million Series B fundraising campaign.

In a release published by Jaguar Land Rover, the fundraising campaign was led by Franklin Templeton, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures, bringing in total capital to $52 million.

Voyage is claimed to be using this amount to bring its technology to commercialisation, grow its team, expand its fleet of G2 self-driving cars, and introduce its G3 self-driving car.

Voyage is developing autonomous vehicle technology for communities with limited transportation options available. The first driverless vehicle of the company can travel point-to-point within communities at speeds up to 40 kmph, informs the company in a release.

Commenting on the investment made, Sebastian Peck, Managing Director, Inmotion Ventures, said, “Since investing in the company’s Series A in 2018, it’s been fantastic to watch the business go from strength to strength. The company has made some incredible hires which have been instrumental in enabling the development of Voyage’s state-of-the-art technology.”

He also said, “We’re excited to continue working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage. They’ve shown us that they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality, sooner than anyone would have thought.”

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Lyft Partners with SambaSafety to Enhance Driver Monitoring, Roadway Safety Nationally

DENVER, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — SambaSafety, the market leader in driver monitoring and mobility risk data solutions, and Lyft, whose …

DENVER, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — SambaSafety, the market leader in driver monitoring and mobility risk data solutions, and Lyft, whose mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, today announced a partnership that will provide Lyft with near-real-time insight into drivers’ new driving citations, enabling the company to quickly deactivate any drivers that don’t meet Lyft’s safety standards.

SambaSafety is the leading provider of cloud-based driver monitoring. The company’s Qorta™ platform allows companies to receive timely insight into high, medium and low-risk drivers, leveraging its nationwide motor vehicle record network, additional data sources, and powerful data analytics and reporting tools.

Lyft currently uses SambaSafety to screen motor vehicle records at onboarding and annually thereafter. This new partnership will take this screening to the next level by continuously monitoring the driving records of United States-based Lyft drivers to identify unsafe drivers as quickly as possible and removing them from the platform as soon a violation of Lyft’s safety standards is detected. The company also plans to leverage Qorta intelligence in programs to communicate proactively with drivers, to let them know how they are doing, recognize driving excellence, and improve the safety of the Lyft community.

“Driver and community safety are fundamental to Lyft, and this partnership with SambaSafety reinforces that commitment. The data and the monitoring provided by SambaSafety will allow Lyft to recognize our safest drivers and to take fast, corrective actions on those individuals who violate our safety standards,” said Alix Rosenthal, Vice President of Compliance at Lyft.

The partnership will provide:

  • Comprehensive state motor vehicle record data
  • Real-time alerts of negative driver activity
  • Driver scoring configured to Lyft’s safety standards

“We are honored to enter this next phase of our strategic partnership with Lyft and proud to share the company’s commitment to safer communities. SambaSafety aims with Qorta to put a revolutionary driver intelligence resource into the hands of our customers. We are excited by Lyft’s vision for how to leverage that insight to promote safety,” said Allison Guidette, CEO at SambaSafety.

About SambaSafety

Since 1998, SambaSafety continues to be the pioneer and leading North American provider of cloud-based mobility risk management software solutions for organizations with commercial and non-commercial drivers. Through the collection, correlation, and analysis of driver information, SambaSafety helps employers identify high-risk drivers and enforce safety policies, insurers to make informed decisions, and background screeners to perform accurate, efficient pre-hire checks. Learn more at www.sambasafety.com.

Media Contact:

Eric Waldinger

SambaSafety

720.835.2851

ewaldinger@sambasafety.com

SOURCE SambaSafety

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