Japanese open-source autonomous driving startup TIER IV launches $300m green autonomous driving project
TIER IV, an open-source autonomous driving startup, announced it has received a grant from the Green Innovation Fund Projects (GI Fund) for research and development of autonomous driving software platforms, which was publicly solicited by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Throughout this Green Autonomous Driving (AD) Project, TIER IV aims to achieve 100 times higher energy efficiency than the currently deployed technology for autonomous vehicles. A total amount of $183 million is planned for a nine-year period from Fiscal 2022 to Fiscal 2030. Furthermore, TIER IV has raised $87 million in a Series B funding round from two existing shareholders, SOMPO Holdings, Yamaha Motor as well as a new investor, Bridgestone Corporation. Leveraging this partnership, TIER IV will further accelerate their platform business, especially through collaborations with:
- SOMPO Holdings to provide an insurance, risk assessment, after-service package including access to the support center, as well as to develop a data analysis platform that will contribute to secure and safe operations of autonomous vehicles.
- Yamaha Motor to enhance production of commercial EVs for facility logistics use, and to expand commercial services domestically and internationally.
- Bridgestone Corporation to conduct testing, verification, and validation of autonomous vehicles.
The Government of Japan has decided to establish the GI Fund at a scale of $15 billion, with the goal to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. TIER IV has been accepted to a program of the GI Fund, presenting 'Microautonomy - Creating Collectively Scalable Autonomous Driving Systems'. Microautonomy is a concept of software platforms, in which open technology components can be combined adaptively under given timing constraints to build affordable autonomous vehicles in a dependable manner. The challenges for research and development on Microautonomy addressed in the Green AD Project are as follows:
- Software components and algorithms to make autonomous vehicles adaptive to a wide range of Operational Design Domains (ODD).
- Real-time systems to guarantee latency bounds and predictable executions for compositional and adaptive task sets.
- Open systems dependability to acquire agreement of stakeholders through assurance cases for safety-critical applications.
- Edge-oriented agile CI/CD pipeline to reduce the amount of time and data required in development and operation (DevOps) for autonomous vehicles.
Shinpei Kato, Founder and CTO, TIER IV: "This Green AD Project alongside the Series B fundraising will allow us to concentrate on technology advances, while continuing to provide our customers with selective solutions based on the current variants of our platform and reference design. Our platform is enabling our customers to develop their own autonomous driving components or build their own autonomous vehicles by extending our reference design so that they can save cost, optimize risk, and minimize time to market for their production."
Adding our existing resources to the Green AD Project, we strive to accelerate our research and development at a scale of $300 million. With a vision of 'The Art of Open Source, Reimagine Intelligent Vehicles', TIER IV will create an open ecosystem where everyone can participate in and contribute to the revolution of software technologies for autonomous vehicles.