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GM, Toyota Among Investors in Silicon Valley Telematics Startup

The startup, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nauto, has developed an aftermarket data-capture device that detects collisions, monitors risky driving maneuvers and tracks driving behavior in real time.

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Telematics startup Nauto said it recently raised $159 million in Series B financing with contributions from SoftBank Group, General Motors, Toyota and others.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nauto has developed an aftermarket data-capture device that detects collisions, monitors risky driving maneuvers and tracks driving behavior in real time. The artificial intelligence-powered telematics device can improve fleet safety and inform the development of autonomous vehicles, according to the company.

The latest round of financing, which was led by SoftBank and Greylock Partners, included the venture-capital subsidiaries of GM, Toyota, BMW and Allianz Group.

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The money will help Nauto retrofit its telematics device into more vehicles around the world and “support the expansion of the Nauto data platform in autonomous-vehicle research and development across multiple automakers,” the company said in a news release.

“As more Nauto units get deployed and Nauto-enabled vehicles accumulate more miles, the Nauto network becomes more precise, gains an even greater understanding of human driving behavior and provides more valuable data and safety features,” Nauto said. “The resulting insights help improve fleet safety and operations, as well as save lives and reduce liability and expenses. Over time, the Nauto data platform will inform the transition to and coexistence of human-driven and autonomous vehicles.”

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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said Nauto’s “increasingly intelligent telematics business” is “generating a highly valuable dataset for autonomous driving, at massive scale.”

“This data will help accelerate the development and adoption of safe, effective self-driving technology,” Son added.

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