The NHTSA's automated vehicles policy. Connected car in the spotlight. Uber moving into Detroit.
This week featured connected car funding announcements from startups large and small:
Metromile, a per-mile insurance provider, disclosed a series of financings totaling $191.5M, announcing that it would use the money to acquire an insurance carrier named Mosiac Insurance. (For more coverage on all things insurance, check out CBI senior analyst Matt Wong’s Insurance Tech Insights if you haven’t already.)
Drust, a French startup, has raised roughly $3.35M to continue building its connected car system.
Drive Time Metrics, a Rhode Island-based company developing connected car monetization solutions, received a further $250,000 commitment as part of a $2.1M seed round.
Last week, Dallas-based Vinli also announced a series of dealership and maintenance partnerships. These startups belong to the growing connected car ecosystem, which we explored in our deep dive on the state of auto tech.
White hat researchers from China’s Tencent also made headlines when they successfully comprised the CAN bus of a moving Tesla Model S, managing to remotely engage its brakes.
Tesla has pushed out an update, but public fears around such attacks continue to grow as connected vehicles become ubiquitous. Startups are already helping to uncover vulnerabilities through bounty programs and provide direct protection as security vendors.
The agency indicated manufacturers could be held responsible for semi-autonomous systems that fail to account for inattentive drivers. Notably, the primary document also contained language around the sharing of data generated by autonomous vehicles.
Interestingly, this policy position correlates with July remarks on AI from Jason Furman, the President’s chief economic adviser. Furman speculated on anticompetitive and possible antitrust concerns posed by large AI data moats (while also citing CB Insights research).