Autoware open source self-driving startup Tier IV secures over $100 million in Series A round
Tier IV, an open source self-driving startup based in Japan, has raised over $100 million in total in a Series A funding round to commercialize self-driving technology in private areas, depopulated areas, and urban areas. The fresh funding will also enable Tier IV to become a global platform company and scale out its self-driving business. The round was led by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., the Japanese major P&C insurance company, with participation from existing investors, Yamaha Motor Co., and other investors.
Founded in December 2015, Tier IV has led the development of open-source software for self-driving technology, also known as Autoware, and applied it for the proof of concept of last-mile driverless mobility and logistics. Tier IV aspires to achieve “Democratization of Intelligent Vehicles”, where any individuals and organizations can contribute to a grander vision of future intelligent vehicles, leading to a better society in which all the people receive new spatio-temporal values.
Autoware is the world’s first “all-in-one” open-source software for self-driving technology, which is now widely adopted by more than 200 companies around the world. Examples of the use cases include the Udacity Nanodegree Program, the CARMA platform developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), automotive manufacturers, and many self-driving startups.
With the momentum of Autoware as defacto open-source software, Tier IV and its partner companies, Apex.AI and Linaro 96Boards, launched the Autoware Foundation in December 2018 in order to deploy Autoware in real products and services. As of today, the Autoware Foundation consists of more than 30 member companies from various business sectors.
“Tier IV has a mission to embody disruptive creation and creative disruption with self-driving technology. We have derived a solid software platform and successfully integrated it with real vehicles. It is time to step forward to real services, embracing functional safety and risk management,” says Shinpei Kato, Founder of Tier IV and the chairman of the Board of the Autoware Foundation.
There are more than 60 regions in Japan and overseas, where field operational tests of self-driving vehicles powered by Tier IV have been conducted without any accident. Tier IV will continue pursuing safe and secure self-driving technology, while expanding business opportunities from 2020 Summer Olympics and beyond.