Silicon Valley AI & Automotive Technology Startup Nauto Expands to Europe
【Summary】Autonomous vehicle technology startup Nauto, whose artificial intelligence-powered system and data platform is helping improve fleet safety and powering the development of self-driving technology, is expanding into Europe. The company has appointed experienced auto technology executive Frank Bunte as Head of Europe to lead its European team, called Nauto Global Ltd.
PALO ALTO, Calif., — Autonomous vehicle technology startup Nauto, whose artificial intelligence-powered system and data platform is helping improve fleet safety and powering the development of self-driving technology, is expanding into Europe. The company has appointed experienced auto technology executive Frank Bunte as Head of Europe to lead its European team, called Nauto Global Ltd.
Bunte, who most recently was Chief Revenue Officer at EASI'R, a cloud-based customer relations platform for the automotive industry, will lead Nauto´s expansion as a safety and efficiency solution for fleets across continental Europe from offices in Dublin. Waymo's former head of business Jennifer Haroon, and Sanket Akerkar, Microsoft's former VP of global enterprise sales also joined the company in October to help lead its commercial growth and global expansion.
"I'm honored to take on this mission of making our European roadways safer and our transportation system smarter," said Bunte. "Last year, the European Union estimated that 135,000 people were seriously injured on EU roads, and that for every one million inhabitants, there were 50 road fatalities. We are already seeing Nauto making a demonstrable and positive impact in North America and Japan in helping drivers operate vehicles more safely, so we are motivated to offer what we do to improve European driving conditions and potentially save lives."
"Frank has a terrific background in enterprise automotive technology and is a proven business leader and corporate strategist with more than 15 years' experience in high-level leadership roles for companies throughout Europe, the United States and South Africa." said Akerkar. "He has wide-ranging experience of executing international expansion strategy for global organisations and helping them grow. Frank is highly networked and respected in the automotive industry and knows how to meld the dynamic pace of a start-up with the demands of more established entities. I look forward to working with him as we launch across Europe."
The company is currently is piloting its artificial intelligence-powered automotive data platform and aftermarket dual-camera device technology with numerous European-based commercial fleet, logistics, taxi, bus and auto leasing and insurance entities.
Nauto, which equips any vehicle or fleet with sophisticated safety and networking features, such as the ability to detect distracted driving and provide constructive feedback to assist drivers, is also exploring additional strategic relationships with the insurance and automotive industries to expand the adoption of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development, as it is currently doing with companies like BMW, General Motors, Toyota and Insurance company Allianz Group.
The Nauto system includes a windshield mounted hardware design, deep learning and computer vision algorithms and smart cloud network informed by the accumulation of millions of kilometers from dozens of fleet customers on urban streets and highways.
Because Nauto learns from other drivers, the road and conditions around vehicles in the Nauto network, fleets equipped with Nauto can automatically capture and upload video of significant events and insights in real time to help fleet managers improve overall driver performance and enhance the safety and efficiency of an entire fleet. The company has already started working with its automaker partners to develop the deep-learning algorithms that will enable the cars to drive autonomously.
Nauto's scoring system called VERA (Vision Enhanced Risk Assessment) includes a risk rating for the frequency and severity of distraction events. For example, a distraction event while stopped at a red light would not generate the same high risk score as a distraction event that occurred at 130 KM/h (65 mph) speed on a freeway would.
In July of 2017, Nauto raised $159 million in a Series B round led by SoftBank and Reid Hoffman at Greylock to expand its autonomous driving and data platform. Nauto's valuation is now over $1 billion.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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