Williams Backing Driverless Tech Disrupter

The investment collaboration outfit supported by Formula One’s Williams team has announced a £1M ($1.25M) investment in an autonomous driving company hoping to accelerate adoption of the technology.

So far, the commercial rollout of AVs has failed to live up to expectations owing to the technical challenge of dealing with high-risk scenarios. Now Foresight Williams Technology (FWT) Funds is investing in dRISK, a company that hopes to solve the problem by fusing public, private and proprietary data.

Founded in 2014, by CEO Chess Stetson, dRISK is an AI company which is aiming to train AVs to avoid high-risk scenarios. This contrasts with the conventional approach of training AV’s on low-risk driving. Its core technology, with four patents granted and two pending, uses networks of data to store, visualize and reveal “unknown unknowns” in complex and highly sparse data areas.

Matthew Burke, head of technology ventures at Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “dRISK’s proprietary technology has the potential to accelerate the development of automated driving control systems and overcome one of the main barriers to self-driving: the identification of edge cases. We are delighted that FWT has made this investment and we expect to leverage our knowledge of the automotive industry to increase uptake of dRISK’s technology.”

Stetson added: “This investment will allow dRISK to accelerate our business plan and achieve our goal of introducing the dRISK product to the majority of the AV industry. And in turn, dramatically accelerating the development of safe and useable autonomous vehicles. We thank Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering for their support.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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