The Israeli autonomous simulation startup Cognata raised $18.5 million, led by Scale Venture Partners, to “meet demand for technology that will help companies speed up the deployment of self-driving vehicles,” reported TechCrunch. This far tops the firm raising $5 million in 2017.
Cognata founder and CEO Danny Atsmon told the outlet that the funding will allow the startup, which has more than two-dozen employees, to double its staff in addition to expanding commercial operations into the United States, Germany, Japan and China.
“All of the companies that are working on autonomous vehicles in the world identify simulation as a key technology to bring autonomous vehicles to market,” Atsmon told TechCrunch.
Cognata recreates urban areas through 3D simulation using artificial intelligence, deep learning and computer vision to give consumers various testing scenarios simulating actual test driving. Many autonomous vehicle companies use this platform because it enables them to experiment edge cases—unlikely and unexpected scenarios that occur while driving—without the possibility of an accident.
Earlier this year, the German automaker Audi became the first major carmaker to sign a multi-year partnership with Cognata.