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TIER IV launches $300M project to achieve 100x higher energy efficiency

Tier IV, a Japanese startup that develops open-source software for autonomous driving, announced that it has received a grant from the “Green Innovation Fund Projects” (GI Fund). 

The Tokyo-based company will use the funds for R&D of autonomous driving software platforms, which was publicly solicited by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Green Autonomous Driving (AD) Project

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. 

According to the company, a total amount of $183M is planned for a nine-year period from 2022 to 2030. 

Further, TIER IV has also raised $87M in a Series B funding round from two existing shareholders, SOMPO Holdings, Yamaha Motor, and a new investor, Bridgestone Corporation. 

In addition to the funding, TIER IV will further accelerate its platform business by leveraging a partnership with

  • SOMPO Holdings – To provide insurance, and risk assessment, and develop a data analysis platform
  • Yamaha Motor – To enhance the 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 $15B, 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’. 

To reiterate, 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.

“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,” says Shinpei Kato, Founder and CTO of TIER IV. “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.”

Tier IV aspires to achieve “Democratisation of Intelligent Vehicles”, where any individuals and organizations can contribute to a grander vision of future intelligent vehicles, leading to a better society in which all the people receive new spatio-temporal values.

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