Approximately US$25m in Series B funding has been secured by Seoul Robotics, led by KB Investment.
Seoul Robotics aims to provide the mobility sector with advanced computer vision for 3D sensors in addition to automating vehicles through a new company approach called Autonomy Through Infrastructure (ATI). The ATI approach works by placing autonomous driving systems on infrastructure, instead of on vehicles to capture the holistic view and data needed for autonomous vehicles.
By removing the expense of fitting each vehicle with cameras and sensors, Seoul Robotics aims to improve scalability and financial viability of smart mobility networks. It also aims to make autonomous driving safter by creating a shared vision without blind spots. The Series B funding will be used to provide infrastructure-based autonomous driving solutions to the global logistics industry.
ATI features a Level 5 Control Tower (LV5 CTRL TWR) which consists of a mesh network of sensors and computers. These are then installed onto infrastructure and through the use of V2X communication non-autonomous cars can be turned into self-driving vehicles.
Seoul Robotics’ LV5 CTRL TWR uses a modern vehicle’s already built-in connectivity to enable autonomous operation without hardware adjustments. LV5 CTRL TWR is powered by the company’s patented SENSR 3D perception software which utilizes deep learning and weather-filtering capabilities to provide high-resolution environmental insights. The scalable solution achieves full Level 5 autonomy and has the capability to drive hundreds of vehicles at the same time.
At present, the LV5 CTRL TWR is being used by BMW to automate finished vehicle logistics at one of the OEM’s facilities in Germany. By doing so, the traditionally manual process is made more efficient and safer, and also overcomes driver shortages.
The funding will be used to develop the solution for automotive logistics, and for international expansion and industry partnerships. Seoul Robotics seeks to expand the technology to other logistics applications including rental car fleets and trucking yards.
“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, CEO and co-founder, Seoul Robotics. “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.”
“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, 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.”
Noh & Partners, Futureplay, Korea Development Bank, Artesian and Access Ventures also contributed to the Series B funding round.