Tel Aviv, Israel-based Ottopia is a company that is developing remote assistance technology for self-driving cars. Recently, the company announced that it has secured $3 million in seed funding led by MizMaa Ventures. Glory Ventures, Plug and Play, and NextGear also participated in this round.
Founded by autonomous vehicle experts Amit Rosenzweig (CEO) and Leon Altarac (CTO) earlier this year, Ottopia is currently building the first ever platform that enables remote humans to guide vehicles safely and reliably. Autonomous vehicles call human back-ups to help resolve unpredictable or unsafe situations.
Early-stage teleoperation platforms provide support by handing complete control to a remote human driver. This can be complicated in situations like driving in road construction and crowded streets.
Ottopia’s software platform allows human operators and the car’s artificial intelligence to work together during a remote intervention. The remote human assists the autonomous vehicle with decision-making in a complex scenario. And the autonomous vehicle then executes that decision and navigates with a full suite of sensors and safety measures engaged.
Prior to launching Ottopia, Altarac founded the Robotics and AV branch of the Israeli Army where he spent the last decade designing AVs and teleoperation solutions for real-life missions. And Rosenzweig was the head of product management for Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics division, VP of product management at Screenovate Technologies, and head of cybersecurity in the research and development department for the Israeli Intelligence Corps.
“Our platform addresses all the core challenges in teleoperation, like network connectivity, safety and cybersecurity,” said Ottopia CEO Amit Rosenzweig in a statement. “And the feedback so far from key players is very encouraging.”
With this round of funding, Ottopia is going to use the funding to expand its R&D team and collaborate with AV companies.
“Autonomous vehicles are inevitable, but safe deployment is still a core roadblock. Major players agree that there is a real, unmet need in this domain,” added Aaron Applbaum of MizMaa Ventures in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with Ottopia’s talented and battle-tested team to solve the problem of safe teleoperation. Their approach and drive give us full confidence that they’ll succeed.”