Zoox, $ 200 million to overtake automakers on self-driving cars
Zoox, a Californian start-up specializing in the development of autonomous cars, has just completed a funding round of $ 200 million, according to information reported by TechCrunch. To carry out this transaction, the company based in Menlo Park benefited from the contribution of Lux Capital and DFG. This investment brings Zoox’s valuation to $ 1 billion.
Founded in 2014 by Tim Kentley-Klay and Jesse Levinson, start-up Zoox designs smart cars, with no human intervention required. However, the activities carried out by the Californian company still remain a mystery. “At the crossroads between robotics, machine learning and design, Zoox wants to provide the new generation of mobility services in urban areas”, explains the start-up on its LinkedIn page. Unlike the competition which relies on existing models, Zoox fully develops self-driving cars, without going through intermediaries.
Seduced by the Californian start-up’s project, several sources, quoted by TechCrunch, “believe that Zoox has exclusive technology that could help it compete with Tesla.” Indeed, the American manufacturer of electric cars has embarked on the design and production of autonomous cars by 2020. However, Tesla has just suffered a hard blow with a first fatal accident which occurred in early May, involving one of its intelligent vehicles on “autopilot”.
In this market, players have been multiplying for several months. So, Uber presented its driverless car, in partnership with Ford, last May. The VTC platform even launched a test phase in Pittsburgh to assess the capabilities of the Ford Fusion customized for this purpose. In Silicon Valley, the smart car is also attracting Google. The Mountain View firm has joined forces with Fiat to develop a fleet of 100 vehicles equipped with sensors. In addition, General Motors, with the acquisition of Cruise Automation, Baidu in collaboration with BMW, and Volvo, which is planning tests in London in 2017, have embarked on the race for the intelligent car.
The objectives of the Start-up
With this $ 200 million investment, Zoox plans to further develop its self-driving car technology. Ultimately, the Californian start-up hopes to overtake the traditional car manufacturers who are slow to innovate to offer fully autonomous models as quickly as possible on the automotive market.
Founders: Tim Kentley-Klay and Jesse Levinson
The head office : Menlo Park, California (United States)
Activity: Development of autonomous cars
Funding: $ 200 million in June 2016
Competitors: Tesla, Uber, Google, General Motors, Baidu, Volvo …