Nauto, the autonomous vehicle technology company that equips vehicles and fleets with advanced safety and networking features, has closed a $159 million Series B financing round.
The company said that the funds would boost the deployment of its retrofitted safety and networking system into more vehicles around the world.
The financing will also be used to support the expansion of its data platform into autonomous vehicle R&D across a number of carmakers. Over time, believes Nauto, its platform can help to prepare for the time when human-driven and autonomous vehicles co-exist.
The financing round was led by a subsidiary of Softbank Group Corp. and Greylock Partners. BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, the venture unit of Allianz Group and Series A investors Playground Global and Draper Nexus also participated.
“SoftBank and Greylock, along with our key strategic partners, are turbo-charging Nauto’s ability to make roads safer today and to create an onramp to autonomy for the near future,” said Nauto founder and CEO Stefan Heck.
“At a time when traffic fatalities are climbing and distracted driving causes more than half of all crashes, we’re tackling that problem by putting Nauto’s safety features into more commercial fleet vehicles — from trucks and vans to buses and passenger cars — to warn drivers and coach them on how to stay focused.”
Greylock partner and Nauto board member Reid Hoffman said: “By building a network of vehicles and drivers, Nauto is accelerating the transition from a human-driver dominant world to a safer, more efficient autonomous-driving era.”