Autonomous Driving Simulation Software Developer Applied Intuition Raise $175 Million in Series D Funding, Raising its Valuation to $3.6 Billion
【Summary】Applied Intuition Inc., a Silicon Valley-based startup that develops software simulation tools to speed the commercialization and production of autonomous vehicles, announced $175 million in a new Series D financing round co-led by entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil, and venture capital firms Addition and Coatue Management. The latest funding boosts the company's valuation to $3.6 billion.
Applied Intuition Inc., a company founded in 2016 that develops software simulation tools to speed the commercialization and production of autonomous vehicles, announced $175 million in a new Series D financing round co-led by entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil, and venture capital firms Addition and Coatue Management.
Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, and Lux Capital have also significantly contributed to the round.
The latest funding follows a $125 million round announced in Oct 2020. Since 2018, Applied Intuition has raised a total of $350 million from investors, boosting its valuation to $3.6 billion.
Applied Intuition offers a complete product line of simulation tools for automakers and developers. The company works with the majority of the world's top ten largest automakers, including Toyota and Volkswagen.
Applied Intuition's simulation products allow developers of autonomous driving technology to test their systems safely in virtual environments before deploying them in the real world in vehicles.
The company offers a simple UI-based workflow for creating scenarios that autonomous vehicles must deal with in the real world, including behaviors for vehicles, pedestrians, and other road users, including intelligent traffic models. It ensures that autonomous vehicles will be able to handle complex scenarios such as intersections crowded with pedestrians and vehicles before being deployed in the real world.
Applied Intuition's simulation technology also allows automakers to calibrate the controls system of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for optimal performance across different vehicle configurations in a virtual world before being added to production vehicles.
The technology assists engineers to better train their autonomous driving algorithms using real real-world driving data before commercial deployment.
"Simulation-first approach enables companies to develop faster and safer without the risks associated with on-road driving," said Qasar Younis, Founder and CEO of Applied Intuition, to startup consulting firm Combient Foundry last year. "You can't just go out in the real world and test how your AV performs if an animal runs into a street out of the blue." Younis said. "That's what simulation allows you to do, an adequate substitute for real-world testing in certain situations."
This realistic environment created by Applied Intuition's simulation tools allows for the safe testing of autonomous technology before commercial deployment. (Photo: Applied Intuition Inc.)
Applied Intuition says its rapid growth recently was a result of the massive investment automakers are making in autonomous vehicle (AV) development worldwide, as well as the use of autonomous vehicles in other industries such as logistics and warehousing.
Before deploying autonomous driving systems in the real world, companies must be able to test their software with a near-infinite amount of events that a vehicle may encounter in the real world, as well as managing massive volumes of data generated. Companies must also be able to demonstrate their system's safety to regulatory bodies before deployment.
Also this week, Daimler Truck AG subsidiary Torc Robotics announced a multi-year strategic collaboration with Applied Intuition to test its self-driving trucks in virtual environments in order to safely deploy and commercialize its autonomous trucks.
Torc Robotics is using Applied Intuition's simulation technology to develop Level 4 autonomous systems for long-haul trucking in the U.S. Level 4 autonomous trucks are capable of performing driving functions under specified operating conditions without human intervention.
Applied Intuition is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, Munich, Tokyo, and Seoul. The company's team includes autonomy, software and automotive experts from around the world.
The company also announced this week an advisory board of experienced auto industry executives, including Rick Wagoner, former Chair and CEO of General Motors, and Dieter Zetsche, former chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz.
The board members will provide strategic guidance to Applied Intuition as it continues building deeper relationships with automakers.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree 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 auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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