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Overland AI drives forward with $10M boost for high-risk mission autonomous tech

Overland AI Heavy Fast-med. Picture credits; Overland AI

Seattle-based Overland AI, a leading innovator in off-road ground vehicle autonomy for the defence sector, has announced the completion of a $10 million seed funding round. This funding was led by Point72 Ventures and included participation from Shasta Ventures, Ascend VC, Pioneer Square Labs, Voyager Capital, and Cubit Capital.

An introduction to Overland AI

Founded in 2022 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Overland AI is a world leader in autonomous ground mobility for complex and contested off-road environments. The company boasts an expert team with decades of experience in machine learning, robotics, and autonomous systems. Overland AI’s OverDrive software represents a significant advancement in ground autonomy, thanks to the team’s bold approach to systems development—iterating quickly, learning by pushing solutions to their limits, and incorporating the latest advancements. Their goal is to radically transform autonomous land operations to be safer, more reliable, and resilient.

Fuelling expansion and innovation

The newly acquired capital will support Overland AI’s efforts to expand its workforce, focusing on hiring top engineering talent to further develop and test its OverDrive software. OverDrive is a vehicle-agnostic solution designed to enable autonomous navigation of off-road terrain in various environmental conditions at speeds of up to forty-five mph.

Meeting growing demands in defence

The demand for autonomous off-road capabilities is particularly high in the defence sector, where advancements in robotics are crucial for enhancing field safety. Overland AI’s technology is set to meet this demand by providing robust solutions for complex terrains.

Recently, the U.S. Army and the Defence Innovation Unit (DIU) awarded Overland AI an $18.6 million ceiling prototype Other Transaction (OT) agreement to adapt OverDrive for autonomous vehicles navigating complex terrains in contested areas. Furthermore, Overland AI was selected to participate in Phase II of the DARPA RACER program to advance the capabilities of OverDrive in operationally relevant environments. These demonstrations will integrate OverDrive into heavy tracked platforms and lightweight wheeled vehicles used in military operations.

Commitment to national security

Byron Boots, co-founder and CEO of Overland AI, emphasised the company’s dedication to advancing ground vehicle autonomy to support national security and minimise risks to warfighters. “We are committed to the advancement of ground vehicle autonomy to support national security and minimize risk to our warfighters. With this funding, we can accelerate development and create high-performance ground autonomy software designed for uncrewed vehicles in any contested terrain,” Boots stated.

Expertise and leadership

Overland AI’s team has extensive experience in off-road autonomy problems, stemming from years of research. Byron Boots, in addition to his role as CEO, is the Amazon Endowed Professor of Machine Learning at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington (UW). His Robot Learning Lab at UW has pioneered new machine learning approaches to robotics and control and has collaborated with the U.S. Army Research Lab and DARPA on numerous projects over the past decade.

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