Cognata, Ltd., today announced the launch of its simulation engine, supported by $5 million in funding from Emerge, Maniv Mobility, and Airbus Ventures. The company will use the funding to accelerate product development and commercialization of its new solution, which combines artificial intelligence, deep learning, and computer vision in a simulation platform. The platform enables autonomous vehicle developers to shave years off the long, costly process of road-testing autonomous vehicles.
While autonomous driving is on its way to roadways everywhere, according to Rand Corp such vehicles will need to drive 10 billion miles in order to reach a human-level error rate —and that can take years to achieve. Even the largest developers of autonomous vehicles have only accumulated a few million miles in autonomous mode after years of testing.
Led by Danny Atsmon, a widely respected deep-learning expert who formerly served as Harman’s (NYSE:HAR now Samsung) director of ADAS and senior director of machine learning, Cognata provides a realistic virtual automotive environment that simulates real-world test driving and generates fast, highly accurate results. The simulation engine reproduces sensor input in high fidelity by emulating interactions with real-world materials. Furthermore, Cognata can recreate cities anywhere in the world, allowing a dramatically expanded range of testing scenarios beyond the current limited geographies, to the great benefit of any OEM and Tier-1 autonomous vehicle manufacturer.
“Every autonomous vehicle developer faces the same challenge—it is really hard to generate the numerous edge cases and the wide variety of real-world environments,” explains Atsmon. “Our simulation platform rapidly pumps out large volumes of rich training data to fuel these algorithms. We’re excited to introduce a scalable, safe, and cost-effective solution that not only accelerates the development and validation of autonomous vehicles, but also ensures that vehicles can be much safer when they’re deployed in the real world.”
Dovi Ollech, founder and managing partner of Emerge, who led the round, notes that “Danny and the Cognata team have shown rapid progress and achievements since their founding. Their deep expertise in deep learning and broad knowledge of the automotive ecosystem helped them develop an extremely innovative solution for one of the major pain points of this industry.”
Olaf Sakkers of Maniv Mobility emphasizes that “time to market is of critical importance for the broad spectrum of players working to develop autonomous systems, and the quality and volume of their training data fuels their progress. Cognata is essentially building a data refinery using high-fidelity simulation to pump out data that will accelerate the arrival of autonomous vehicles.”
François Auque of Airbus Ventures adds, “After extensive technical evaluation of the team and the technology, we look forward to using Cognata’s technology, which can accelerate the time to market for land-based autonomous systems as well as the kind of aerial systems we are focusing on.”
Cognata provides a fast lane to autonomous driving with its testing and evaluation solution for self-driving vehicles—a realistic automotive simulation platform where virtual cars travel virtual roads in virtual cities, all remarkably true to real-world conditions. Led by CEO Danny Atsmon, a widely respected expert in ADAS and deep learning, Cognata brings the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence, deep learning, and computer vision to the autonomous driving simulation world. Cognata’s simulated testing and evaluation environment shaves years off the validation time by generating fast, highly accurate results, and eliminates the safety concerns, high costs, and limited scalability of road-testing in the physical world. Cognata was founded in 2016 by a team of experts in deep learning, autonomous vehicles and computer vision. The company is headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, close to the Weizmann Institute of Science. For more information, visit http://www.cognata.com.
Emerge is a Tel Aviv based venture capital firm investing primarily in early stage start-ups that operate in diverse verticals and powered by deep technology. The fund’s investors and advisors are founders of leading global technology companies, creating a strong and unique network. A significant part of this network is based in Asia in order to assist portfolio companies in opening new possibilities in this region. For more information, visit www.emerge.co.il
About Maniv Mobility
Maniv Mobility, Israel's first venture capital fund dedicated exclusively to the new mobility future, has deep connections throughout the global automotive industry, as well as the policy and technology communities. Investing primarily in early-stage Israeli startups, it seeks out ideas around automotive connectivity and data, autonomous vehicle technologies such as sensors and software, and novel business models. With 15 startups already part of its portfolio, Maniv Mobility actively uses its experience, networks and resources to help its founders turn their ideas into great companies. For more information, visit www.maniv.com.
About Airbus Ventures
Airbus Ventures is a fast-moving, intensely curious early-stage investment group that seeks exceptional, inspired founders from around the world who will set the course for ground-breaking innovation in mobility, security, and the future of flight. Its vision is to continuously ignite interest in the wonder that is aerospace. Airbus is in its DNA, from a legacy of innovation and industry expertise to a global network. Yet Airbus Ventures operates with autonomy and trust, from the investments it makes to the technologies they develop; it independently supports entrepreneurs with unique ideas, plans, and structures. Airbus Ventures is headquartered in Silicon Valley and Paris and funds start-ups across the globe. For more information, visit http://www.airbusventures.vc/.
DeeDee Rudenstein, 267-521-9654