The self-driving semi truck firm Embark has raised around $15 million as part of a Series A funding round — led by Data Collective, but also including participation by YC Continuity, Maven Ventures, and SV Angel.
As a reminder, Embark is the same company that we reported on a little while back that utilizes an approach based around neural net-based deep learning to develop its tech.
The $15 million in new funding will reportedly be used for talent acquisition (with regard to the engineering team) and to create more test prototype vehicles — both of which represent further advances towards a commercial launch of the company’s tech.
Related to this news, Embark has also established a formal partnership with the heavy equipment manufacturer Peterbilt — which is the firm that supplied the Peterbilt 579 truck that Embark based its prototype on. Peterbilt will be building the new prototype testing trucks at its production facility in Denton, Texas.
Tech Crunch provides more: “Embark’s post-money valuation following this round is $75 million. … The advantage of Embark’s approach, according to DCVC Managing Partner Matt Ocko in a statement, is that they’re ‘producing top-notch real-world driving results far more quickly and on far less capital than anyone else.’ Embark’s solution offers great performance without requiring advance exhaustive mapping of all US roads, he notes, which will cut down the time it takes to bring it to market.”
As we reported previously, Embark’s immediate goal is the creation of tech that completely handles driving outside of cities — in other words, truck drivers will be able to completely hand control over to the tech and only take control again when navigating city streets. Such a system would allow truckers to sleep during the trip, and thus forgo time-consuming rest stop breaks.
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