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ISEE, the Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of self-driving yard truck solutions, announced that it raised $40 million in Series B funding. This brings the company’s total funding since it spun out from MIT in 2017 to $70 million.
Founders Fund, a venture capital fund founded by Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, led the Series B round, which also includes participation from Maersk Growth, Eniac Ventures, New Legacy and other new and existing investors.
“ISEE is focused on logistics yards because of their economic importance and because autonomous driving is ready to perform in logistics yards today. That’s why ISEE is already working with some of the world’s largest companies and why we backed them again,” Scott Nolan, Partner at Founders Fund, said.
ISEE’s technology can turn the most common yard trucks into autonomous vehicles. With advanced sensor coverage and ISEE AI, the company’s autonomous driver, ISEE ensures freight keeps moving in shipping yards. The system can adapt to a variety of different yard sizes and locations.
While shipping yards are limited spaces, they present unique challenges for autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles that operate on roads, for example, have clearly marked lanes that they must stay within and well-defined traffic laws. In a shipping yard, operations can be less predictable.
ISEE AI has orchestrated more than 10,000 fully-autonomous moves. The autonomous driving platform is designed to navigate quickly changing environments. According to the company, ISEE AI is able to understand the inherent uncertainty that comes with dynamic environments, predict human behavior, calculate risk and efficiency and continue to learn from every experience it has.
“By leveraging advanced cognitive modeling, game theory, and deep learning, we’ve developed proprietary technology that’s a perfect match for the challenges of a logistics yard,” Yibiao Zhao, the CEO and co-founder of ISEE, said. “Our self-driving technology is the most advanced autonomous yard tractor product on the market.”
In the last 12 months, ISEE’s revenue has grown more than 20 times, and its customers include big names like BMW.
ISEE faces competition in the yard automation space from other companies, like Outrider, which creates an autonomous retrofit kit for yard trucks. The technology enables autonomous yard trucks to back trailers into tight spaces without modifications to trailers.