Autonomous driving startup Phantom AI says it’s on a mission to democratize the use of driver assistance and safety technology after announcing today it has raised $22 million in a new round of funding.
Celeres Investments led the Series A round, which also saw the participation of Ford Motor Co. and KT Corp., the largest telecommunications firm in South Korea, and existing investors Millennium Technology Value Partners and DSC Investment. The round brings Phantom AI’s total amount raised to date to $27 million.
Phantom AI has been operating under the radar for quite some time already. The startup was founded back in 2016 by a couple of engineers from Tesla Inc.’s and Hyundai Motor Group’s advanced driving assistance systems teams and has spent the intervening years developing its tech, which aims to reduce road accidents and make driving “more enjoyable.”
The company sells three core products. One is PhantomVision, which is a highly scalable deep learning-based computer vision system that supports vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, free-space, traffic sign and traffic light detection.
PhantomFusion, meanwhile, is a platform independent sensor fusion and object tracking system that makes use of camera, radar, LiDAR and ultrasonic technologies and helps vehicles to keep track of anything surrounding them. And PhantomDrive is a complete ADAS control system that enables features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic lane keeping and automatic lane change.
Phantom AI co-founder and Chief Executive Hyunggi Cho told SiliconANGLE in an interview that the company’s systems are unique in that they offer “perfect harmony” between AI and sophisticated tracking algorithms.
“Today, most companies and startups focus solely on AI technology, but to make computer vision systems for ADAS, this is not enough,” Cho said. “With our years of series production experience, we’ve learned that novel tracking algorithms that map detected features in the 2D images into the 3D real-world are critical for reliable vehicle control.”
Phantom AI might not be a household name just yet, but the company has gotten the attention of several carmakers and Asian and European vehicle suppliers, which are working with the company to test its systems.
Today’s funding leaves Phantom AI well placed to crack an ADAS market that Markets and Markets Research has forecast will be worth $134.9 billion by 2027, up from just $30 billion in 2019. That optimistic forecast is based on a growing consumer and regulator interest in autonomous car technologies that can help to reduce accidents. Already, in the EU and the U.S., new vehicles are required to equipped with automatic emergency braking systems and forward-warning systems, and that’s where Phantom AI believes its immediate opportunity lies.
“The Phantom AI team has a ton of automotive experience and we will be providing automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with automotive-grade ADAS solutions,” Cho added. “For example, any OEM or Tier 1 supplier can use our PhantomVision solution to replace Mobileye.”
Phantom AI said it plans to use the new funds to accelerate product development and scale up operations in Asia and Europe.