#USA Apex.ai raises $15.5 million for autonomous-vehicle software


Apex.ai is emerging out of stealth today with quite the claim — an operating system for autonomous vehicles that will never fail. Founded by long-time automated systems engineers Jan Becker and Dejan Pangercic, Apex.ai develops operating systems for various types of autonomous mobility platforms.

Today, Apex.ai is also announcing a $15.5 million Series A round led by Canaan with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, which invested in Apex.ai’s seed round.

Apex.ai’s software stack is designed to easily integrate into existing systems and serve as the enterprise version of the Robot Operating System, an open-source software middleware for robotics.

“Most companies have expertise building consumer applications, but not a lot of expertise, resources or people to work on safety-critical processes,” Becker told TechCrunch. “So we built a framework that allows developers that are not experienced building safe and secure systems to do just that.”

In order to never fail, Apex.ai has built redundancies into the system to ensure single failures don’t result in system-wide failures.

“We go through every line of code and guarantee that safety-critical processes get the amount of compute time needed to execute,” Becker said.

Apex.ai is application agnostic, meaning this can be used in all autonomous systems — ranging from cars to drones to flying taxis.

Apex.ai competes with the likes of Renovo, which earlier this year unveiled AWare OS designed for Level 4 autonomous driving.

“What excited us about Apex is they are solving a real problem,” Canaan partner Rayfe Gaspar-Asaoka told TechCrunch. “Now that we have the right technological pieces in place, how do we move this from R&D into mass production — fully self-driving vehicles for the average consumer to use. As that happens, the number one question will be how do we ensure that this vehicle in this whole system works 100 percent of the time. Safe and reliable all of the time.”

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