Led by Waymo, Tesla and BMW alumni, Solo will bring to market the safest, greenest and most efficient heavy-duty truck specifically designed for rapid deployment of autonomous software
SAN FRANCISCO, March 16, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies (Solo), the automotive hardware company revolutionizing the freight transportation industry, today announced $7 million in seed funding led by CV Trucks with the participation of Maniv Mobility and Wired companies. Solo builds the first heavy-duty truck platform fully compatible with any self-driving software, solving the inefficiency of retrofitting existing human-centric trucks for self-driving. Today’s funding will be used to bolster Solo’s engineering team as the company expands to its new headquarters in Fremont, CA. The team will finalize the design and build Solo’s first test vehicle – a battery-electric Class 8 truck that will begin testing in 2022. The test “mule” will inform the design and engineering of Solo’s alpha truck. Solo, the SD1 Heavy, a process that will also progress this year.
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Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies SD1 Heavy, the safest, greenest and most efficient heavy truck, specifically designed for rapid deployment of autonomous software. (Photo: BusinessWire)
“At Solo, we believe that modern technology requires a modern platform, but the self-driving trucks already deployed today are forced to combine advanced self-driving software with outdated vehicles to shape the future of the freight transportation industry and enable the growth and efficiencies the global supply chain demands,” said Graham Doorley, Founder and CEO of Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies. “Our team has decades of experience understanding the opportunities of autonomous trucking and has seen firsthand the limitations of existing platforms. We are uniquely prepared to tackle this market and, with the early support of committed investors, we are excited to build the future of freight.”
Solo’s team gained early experience in the groundbreaking Tesla Model S, Model 3 and Tesla Semi teams, and was also the founding leader of the self-driving truck project within Waymo. Additionally, the team shares decades of experience in OEMs and the autonomy industry. . With its alpha truck, the SD1 Heavy, Solo redesigns every facet of a truck platform like only a startup can. A streamlined design provides the platform with state-of-the-art active aerodynamics coupled with a proprietary battery-electric powertrain. The SD1 Heavy will feature stabilized and optimized sensor placement not possible with traditional trucks. With the first fully redundant architecture for a Class 8 autonomous truck, the SD1 Heavy will be compatible with any autonomous software.
“Logistics is often the starting point for transportation innovation. We have seen this time and time again in our investment history and yet self-driving cars have been a bigger priority for the on-road market over the past ten years,” said Jeffrey Schox, general partner. , VC Trucks. “When I was a young engineer working on GM’s first electric vehicle, I don’t think I could have imagined a world of zero-emission automated trucks. Solo has the opportunity this decade to transform the way we transport the goods in a cleaner and safer way.The syndicate of investors that Graham and his team have assembled at this stage of the seed stage will be critical to Solo’s future financial strategy, intellectual property portfolio and technical success. This is a global opportunity and it is important to have such a strong early group to support Solo as the company takes these vital next steps.”
“A global supply chain crisis has underscored the need for transformation in the trucking industry. Solo is the first serious effort to look beyond the horizon at a time, not far off, when the most efficient, cleanest truck platform that can safely ‘drive,’ is changing the course of a century-old industry,” said Michael Granoff, Managing Partner, Maniv Mobility.
About Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies
Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies (Solo) is revolutionizing the freight transport industry by building the first heavy-duty platform fully compatible with any self-driving software. Built by Waymo, Tesla and BMW alumni, and backed by leading investors including Trucks VC, Maniv Mobility and Wireframe Ventures, Solo is the only company to develop a dedicated, fully autonomous heavy-duty truck platform for the future of freight.
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