Israeli startup Fortellix, which provides advanced solutions for inspecting the smart systems of autonomous vehicles, has raised $1.5 million in a first funding round, and is hiring fifteen people to work at its offices in Tel Aviv.
Foretellix was founded by Yoav Hollander, Ziv Binyamini and Gil Amid. All three have considerable experience in entrepreneurship and management. The company offers a new, different approach to solving the greatest challenge facing the autonomous vehicle industry, namely the safety of driverless vehicles. The company is developing a language that can serve as a standard for describing autonomous vehicle scenarios. The language is meant to be open, so that anyone can use it to inspect vehicles before they go on the road. The solution will work with all existing inspection platforms, such as simulators, test tracks and other inspection methods.
Among the investors in the company and the members of its advisory board are RAD Group founder Zohar Zisapel; Gil Agmon, owner and CEO of Delek Automotive Systems Ltd. (TASE: DLEA); serial entrepreneur Benny Schneider, who is VP at Oracle after selling Ravello to it; Prof. Amiram Yehudai, formerly deacon of the Computer Science Faculty at Tel Aviv University; Moshe Gavrielov, until recently CEO of Xilinx; and NextGear Ventures, the financial arm of DRIVE tlv.
Regulators and suppliers alike in many countries are trying to understand how to regulate autonomous vehicles and how to decide when such a vehicle is roadworthy. One of the problems is a lack of standards for inspecting these vehicles. The language being developed by Foretellix can be used as a standard for describing scenarios for autonomous vehicles, such as the scenario of the recent fatal accident involving an Uber vehicle.
"The autonomous vehicle industry is now at a critical point, where the technology is very advanced but there is still some way to go before implementation on the roads, because of the justified barrier of the fear of accidents," said Binyamini. "The industry's big challenge at the moment is not another sensor or a better camera, but the success of the autonomous car in coping with situations that the programmers never thought of. We therefore intend, among other things, to develop a scenario library for verification of autonomous vehicles."
According to Foretellix, investment in autonomous vehicle-related startups more than doubled in 2017, with Israel second only to the US in the number of startups in this field.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 29, 2018
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