Ushr Inc., a developer of high-definition (HD) mapping technology and software for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, has secured $10 million in Series A funding, commensurate with its spin-off from GeoDigital, Inc. Forté Ventures led the investment round with participation from EnerTech Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, and GM Ventures.
Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in mapping engineering structures, power lines, railways and roadways, the Ushr team spent the past three years developing HD map software for autonomous driving. Now having mapped the entire US and Canada controlled access highway network with less than four inches deviation, Ushr’s platform provides the most accurate long and medium-distance sensing systems to enable autonomous vehicles (AVs) to safely navigate roadways.
Ushr provides a long-range view that allows the vehicle to proactively plan safer routes and anticipate roadway changes instead of merely reacting to sensor inputs. In a recent road test comparison, our nearest competition had dozens of lane touches and several crossovers; our maps had zero touches and zero crossovers.—Bruce Gordon, Ushr CEO
Ushr’s HD mapping technology in combination with vehicle sensors and on-road cameras conveys “real world” detail to AVs. The company’s control algorithms are constantly interpreting and communicating key details from sensors to the vehicle control system, allowing for more precise steering, safer vehicle control and directional predictability.
The technology currently applies to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) but has a role in every stage of development within the autonomous driving technology spectrum, the company says. Presently, Ushr is working with major automotive manufacturers and suppliers, including General Motors (GM), to integrate Ushr software and map technology into future products.
Ushr’s mapping data is an important piece of GM’s technology as we work on the path toward self-driving vehicles and these kinds of innovations bring us closer to that vision.—Sherwin Prior, Managing Director at GM Ventures
The Series A investment will allow Ushr to advance the development of lower cost data acquisition technologies and of automated map production using artificial intelligence techniques; to build a fleet of data collection vehicles; and to test in-vehicle software on automotive grade embedded hardware.