Edge Case Research, a software startup formed by industry experts from Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, has secured US$7m in funding to develop its safety assessment platform for AV software – Hologram.
The latest seed round was led by Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of Aurora, and simulation software provider ANSYS, with participation from Lockheed Martin Ventures, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, Trucks VC, and Blue Tree Allied Angels.
As a part of the investment, Urmson and Matt Zack, vice president of corporate marketing and business development, ANSYS, will join the Edge Case Research board of directors.
“Self-driving technology will have a profound impact on the safety of our roads and the quality of life of communities in our cities,” said Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of Aurora. “Developing and delivering self-driving technology safety is paramount, and the Edge Case team has the commitment and deep expertise for building important tools for developing this technology. I’m thrilled to see Edge Case take this next step in their mission.”
Hologram identifies ‘edge case’ situations in which the deep learning algorithms at the core of autonomous vehicles fail to detect critical objects such as pedestrians, vehicles and other road users. Hologram gives developers the information they need to retrain their algorithms to operate more reliably, addressing a critical barrier to the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.
“I am honored to bring together an ecosystem of investors with industry expertise, and to be playing a significant role in the advancement of safe autonomous vehicles,” says Michael Wagner, CEO, Edge Case Research. “Most importantly, we’ve built an investor group that shares our mission to empower innovators to bring safe, trustworthy technologies to market. This ambitious vision is behind everything we do.”
Along with the development of Hologram, Edge Case is partnering with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to provide leadership for creating the UL 4600 standard for the safety of autonomous products.
UL 4600 is expected to be the first comprehensive standard to address the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles and mobile robotic products. It will specifically address ensuring the safety of autonomous products that operate without human intervention based on their current state and sensing of the operating environment.