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Major Automakers Invest Nearly $160M In New Self-Driving Startup

By Brian Spaen

It’s the right time to have a startup in the self-driving industry. Former engineers on the Tesla Autopilot program have unveiled lvl5, a system that will be using high-precision maps for all vehicles. On the same day of that announcement, a different startup, Nauto, gains major support from multiple big-name car manufacturers.

BMW, General Motors, and Toyota and their “Venture” groups have already invested in Nauto. The startup has now raised $159 million. Financing was spearheaded by SoftBank and Greylock Partners and also includes Allianz, an insurance company. In the announcement, company CEO Stefan Heck stated that the investments will allow them to collect more data to prepare for the switch to autonomous driving.

"In pursuit of the profoundly transformational impact autonomous vehicle technology can have on business and society, we'll now more rapidly be able to gather the billions more miles of real driving experience and data required to get a precise understanding of how the best drivers behave behind the wheel."