Self-driving startup Minus Zero has secured $1.7 million in a round of funding. The company will use the funding for building an extensive autonomous vehicle research and development, infrastructure and hiring more people.
Minus Zero announced a $1.7 million funding round headed by Chiratae Ventures, with participation from JITO Angel Network and top executives from businesses such as Nvidia and Lyft. This is the first time an Indian self-driving vehicle firm has received venture capital funding.
The funds will be used mostly for expanding autonomous vehicle research and development, infrastructure, and recruiting additional employees. The team plans to make their first autonomous car use-case public in late 2022 or early 2023. Minus Zero claims to be developing an affordable self-driving system that employs high-end, high-definition cameras, significant data collecting, and sensors like as LIDAR (light detecting and ranging).
According to Minus Zero, the complexity of self-driving cars can be handled not by stacking more sensors or petabytes of data, but by making AI more intuitive, comparable to how our own brain handles decision making.
Global technological behemoths have been working hard to solve the self-driving technology spearheaded by Tesla and Google.
Given the complexity of the terrain and traffic in nations such as India, the technology is largely expected to take longer to implement.
Gagandeep Reehal, CEO & CTO of Minus Zero, stated, “With many patents in the pipeline, our innovative method to self-driving mirrors human intuition, providing the software the capacity to acquire reliable conclusions even with less data inputs. This enables robust decision making, which is critical for safe navigation in settings where extrinsic variables such as inadequate traffic infrastructure, reckless driving, severe weather, and so on would have otherwise jeopardized the vehicle’s safety.”
TCM Sundaram, founder and vice chairman of Chiratae Ventures, stated, “Autonomous vehicles (AV) are no longer a thing of the future and must become a reality now. Scaling AV acceptance beyond the current restricted usage in select locations and high-end vehicles needs a rethinking that goes beyond relying on pricey technology like Lidar and training over millions of hours of data. Furthermore, in emerging markets like as India, where driving conditions are tough and unstructured, the approach to AV must be new and especially designed. The Minus Zero team takes a novel approach to AV and designs for broad adoption in entry-level and mid-level vehicles as well as emerging markets.”