Auro Robotics, an autonomous campus shuttle service, has raised $2 Mn in a funding round led by Motus Ventures and supported by Rothenberg Ventures.
California-based Auro Robotics was founded in 2013 by graduates of CMU’s Robotics Institute, the IIT Kharagpur Robotics Research Group, and Y-Combinator, Nalin Gupta, Jit Ray Chowdhury and Srinivas Reddy. It was launched to apply their work on self-driving shuttles to the campus market.
The startup will use the funding to roll out autonomous campus shuttle services at a major American university later this year, marking one of the most advanced deployments of self-driving cars to date.
Motus Ventures, founded three years, helps entrepreneurs commercialise and scale technologies that transform transportation, industrial, health and food systems. While Rothenberg Ventures is a seed stage VC firm that invests in frontier technology. They launched a program called River within their fund dedicated to the fastest growing frontier technology startups (AR, VR, artificial intelligence, drones, robotics, space, and 3D printing).
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Jim DiSanto, managing partner at Motus Ventures. “Private campuses are an ideal springboard toward a world of fully automated vehicles. Operating at lower speeds, free of complex government regulations, with the right technologies we can go completely driverless today versus in nine years, as projected for public transportation. We’ve seen strong demand for around-the-clock autonomous shuttle services on college and corporate campuses, military bases and retirement communities, and Auro Robotics is in a strong position to lead the way in unlocking the market.”
Auro Robotics provides a complete technology system including proprietary software specific to the unique needs of the private campus environment, to ensure safe and reliable autonomous transportation that promises to reduce parking congestion, facilitate mobility, improve campus security and reduce operating costs up to 60 percent.
The platform combines vehicles and a software platform to overcome challenges of manoeuvring safely among erratic traffic flow, heavy crowds, bad weather, and imprecise GPS. The company currently operates a pilot service at Santa Clara University.
The Auro Robotics system includes a suite of technologies encompassing all aspects of campus autonomous driving. It equips all-electric vehicles with a multi-sensor system for detecting ground-level obstacles. Its software includes three-dimensional map creation and real-time localisation, as well as advanced motion-planning software and a smart vehicle-pedestrian interaction system.
Auro Robotics also provides a mobile application tuned for on-demand shuttle scheduling and tracking, as well as cloud-based fleet management and scheduling software.
Prior to this in March 2016, Bangalore-based robotics firm, Systemantics raised an undisclosed amount of funding from existing investor Accel Partners, and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. Other startups in Robotics field include SP Robotics Works, Endless Robotics among others.
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