Seoul Robotics lands $25M to transform logistics industry and advance autonomous mobility through smart infrastructure
The use of LiDAR technology has accelerated in recent years as almost every single electric vehicle company working on self-driving cars right now uses LIDAR, with Tesla as an exception. While it is commonly used in autonomous driving cars, other areas including logistics, robotics, security, intelligent traffic management, and smart cities are expected to be the dominant fields for LiDAR sensors.
Two of the leading companies using LiDAR and new 3-D technology to support self-driving cars and smarter big cities are Seoul Robotics and Intel’s Mobileye. Seoul Robotics is a 3D computer vision company that builds intelligent robotic perception systems using AI and machine learning. We covered the company in July 2021 after receiving a $12M investment from Korean Government to build intelligent robotic perception systems using AI and machine learning. Now, the company just closed a new round of fundraising.
Today, Seoul Robotics announced ir has raised about $25 million in a Series B funding to transform the logistics industry through novel approach to autonomous driving. The round was led by KB Investment, with participation from Noh and Partners, Future Play, Korean Development Bank, Artesian, and Access Ventures.
Founded in 2017 by Han Bin Lee, Seoul Robotics provides OEMs, system integrators, and government agencies around the world with access to LiDAR and 3D sensor solutions through its proprietary perception software platform, SENSR™.
The sensor-agnostic software uses machine learning to analyze and understand 3D data with extreme accuracy to support a range of functions from basic tracking and monitoring to autonomous mobility. Prior to the company’s founding four years ago, there was no bridge between LiDAR manufacturers and industries outside the automotive market that could benefit from the insights provided by 3D data.
Its novel approach enhances the scalability and financial viability of intelligent transportation networks by removing the prohibitive costs of equipping individual vehicles with cameras and sensors, while also overcoming safety barriers by creating a shared vision without blindspots. Seoul Robotics will use the Series B funding to bring its industry-leading, infrastructure-based autonomous driving solutions to the global logistics industry.
“Infrastructure has been assisting drivers since the first traffic light was introduced over a hundred years ago, but unlike the current system, which is designed to assist humans, Seoul Robotics is pioneering a new way to leverage infrastructure that enables autonomous robots and cars to reach their full potential,” said HanBin Lee. “This groundbreaking approach is made possible through our leading 3D computer vision technology that has been recognized as the most advanced solution in the industry. With this funding, we will continue developing industry-transforming solutions that will drive the future of mobility and deliver beyond what we can even conceptualize today.”
Seoul Robotics’ proprietary ATI solution, Level 5 Control Tower (LV5 CTRL TWR), consists of a mesh network of sensors and computers that are installed on infrastructure and uses V2X communication to turn non-autonomous cars into self-driving vehicles. LV5 CTRL TWR utilizes the connectivity already built into today’s modern vehicles to autonomously maneuver them without requiring any hardware adjustments. LV5 CTRL TWR is powered by Seoul Robotics’ core technology, SENSR™, an industry-leading, patented 3D perception software using deep learning and weather-filtering capabilities to provide high-resolution environmental insights. The first-of-its-kind, scalable solution achieves full Level 5 autonomy and can drive hundreds of vehicles simultaneously.
LV5 CTRL TWR is currently being used to automate finished vehicle logistics at a BMW facility in Germany. Automating this historically manual process makes it safer and more efficient, while also enabling companies to overcome the industry-wide driver shortage. The new funding will fuel further development of this solution for automotive logistics, international expansion and new industry partnerships. Looking ahead, Seoul Robotics will also leverage the capital to extend its technology to additional logistic applications such as rental car fleets and trucking yards.
“Every organization is looking for ways to bring value and efficiency to driver operations, and the need for autonomous solutions is especially urgent given recent labor shortages in the logistics industry,” said JunSeok Lee, Director at KB Investment. “Seoul Robotics is executing decisively on its vision for Autonomy Through Infrastructure with the LV5 CTRL TWR, delivering massive cost savings through an entirely new approach. Their success to date gives us full confidence that they will continue to transform the logistics industry, as well as great pride in the innovative spirit of Korea’s technology sector.”