Robotics Industry News
Edge Case Research Secures $7M Towards Improving the Safety and Reliability of Autonomous Vehicles
Edge Case Research Posted 06/13/2019
Chris Urmson and ANSYS join the Edge Case Research Board of Directors
Pittsburgh, PA – Edge Case Research (Edge Case), founded by the recognized world leaders in autonomous system safety and autonomous vehicle safety, announced it secured $7 million in investment funding. The investment will expand the development of Hologram, an intelligent safety assessment platform for autonomous vehicle software that operates at the speed of modern machine learning development.
Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of Aurora, and ANSYS, the global leader in engineering simulation led the round with participation from Lockheed Martin Ventures, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, Trucks VC, and Blue Tree Allied Angels. As a part of the investment, Chris Urmson and Matt Zack, vice president of corporate marketing and business development, ANSYS will join the Edge Case Research Board of Directors.
As autonomous vehicle fleets expand into cities across the world, there remains uncertainty around the safety of this emerging technology. Edge Case is developing products and standards to allow manufacturers to gain public confidence and trust in this new technology; assuring vehicles will operate safely on public roads.
Hologram identifies “edge cases” in the perception stack. These are situations in which the deep learning algorithms at the core of autonomous vehicles fail to detect critical objects such as pedestrians, vehicles, and other road users. Hologram gives developers the information they need to retrain their algorithms to operate more reliably, addressing a critical barrier to the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.
“I am honored to bring together an ecosystem of investors with industry expertise, and to be playing a significant role in the advancement of safe autonomous vehicles,” says Michael Wagner, CEO, Edge Case Research. “Most importantly, we’ve built an investor group that shares our mission to empower innovators to bring safe, trustworthy technologies to market. This ambitious vision is behind everything we do.”
"Self-driving technology will have a profound impact on the safety of our roads and the quality of life of communities in our cities," said Chris Urmson, Co-founder and CEO of Aurora. “Developing and delivering self-driving technology safety is paramount, and the Edge Case team has the commitment and deep expertise for building important tools for developing this technology. I'm thrilled to see Edge Case take this next step in their mission."
“We are excited to welcome Edge Case Research into our AV Ecosystem,” said Matt Zack, vice president of corporate marketing and business development, ANSYS. “Their unique and robust offerings complement our comprehensive autonomous solutions for safety and automatic driving scenario generation and will help make Level 5 autonomous vehicles a reality.”
Along with the development of Hologram, Edge Case is partnering with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to provide leadership for creating the UL 4600 standard for the safety of autonomous products. UL 4600 is expected to be the first comprehensive standard to address the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles and mobile robotic products. It will specifically address ensuring the safety of autonomous products that operate without human intervention based on their current state and sensing of the operating environment. Edge Case acted as the primary subject matter experts for creating the initial draft version. Currently, the Underwriters Laboratories Standard Technical Panel (STP) is revising that draft to produce a consensus-based industry standard, with a planned completion date of late 2019.
About Edge Case Research
Edge Case Research (Edge Case) makes autonomy safe by delivering software and services to tackle the most complex AI safety problems. Edge Case was formed by leading autonomy and safety experts from Carnegie Mellon University who believe that safety should be built into all AI products from the ground up. Our intelligent and fast robustness testing tools find safety problems in autonomous systems before they are fielded. Our growing client base spans diverse markets, including automotive, aerospace, defense, consumer electronics, and industrial power systems. Join the safety movement.