At a time when autonomous vehicles and Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system are drawing greater scrutiny over their public road performance, there’s greater appetite for closer evaluation of their competence.
Israeli startup Foretellix provides such verification and validation. The company has established recent partnerships with Volvo’s autonomous vehicle division and Denso Group, among others.
Now it’s gaining traction with investors. The company said Wednesday it has raised $32 million in its Series B funding round. Foretellix, founded in 2017, has received approximately $50 million in investments to date.
“The additional funding round is an important milestone in our journey as a company, and will help us address the growing demand for our platform and products,” Ziv Binyamini, Foretellix’s CEO and co-founder, said in a written statement.
MoreTech Ventures led the funding round, though the amount was undisclosed. Other investors included Volvo Group and Nationwide Insurance, which suggests automakers and insurers alike continue to look for new ways to assess automated driving technology.
“We look for startups that are building the future with technological developments that will transform the transport industry,” said Martin Witt, vice president and head of Volvo Group Venture Capital. “We believe that with Foretellix’s advanced test automation tools and expertise, we can deploy current and future [automated driving systems]. We have the same clear goal to infuse automation and metrics into the validation process.”
In addition, Series A investors 83North, Jump Capital, OurCrowd and Next Gear Ventures all participated in the more recent round.
Foretellix’s simulation platform allows customers to replicate driving scenarios with thousands of variations that would otherwise be impossible or laborious to collect. Binyamini borrows his general approach to simulation and verification from a formative tenure at Intel, where he worked on testing and developing the company’s Pentium chips.
Today, the funding arrives at a time when NHTSA is investigating the pattern of Autopilot-enabled Tesla vehicles crashing into parked emergency vehicles. In other recent developments, a Toyota self-driving test vehicle struck and injured a pedestrian in Japan, prompting fresh questions on the readiness of AVs even for testing on public roads.