Volvo backs two Israeli automotive technology start-ups

"MDGo’s technology aims to do something that is close to our hearts, which is saving lives," said Volvo Cars Tech Fund CEO Zaki Fasihuddin.

July 22, 2019 15:08
2 minute read.
Volvo backs two Israeli automotive technology start-ups

Workers are seen on the side of an assembly line at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Daqing, Heilongjiang province. (photo credit: CHINA STRINGER NETWORK)

Swedish automotive manufacturer Volvo Cars announced investments in two Israeli start-ups on Monday, through its venture capital investment arm Volvo Cars Tech Fund.

Marking the fund's first investments outside of the United States and Europe since it was established last year, Volvo will invest in Tel Aviv-headquartered companies UVeye and MDGo.

Both companies have participated in the Tel Aviv-based "DRIVE" innovation center for early-stage mobility companies, active since 2017 and sponsored by Volvo Cars and other leading automotive industry players.

MDGo specializes in medical artificial intelligence to ensure effective treatment of road accident victims. No financial details regarding the investment were disclosed.

The company's machine learning technology combines real-time data from vehicle sensors after an accident with medical knowledge, delivering immediate predictions regarding the injuries suffered by those traveling in the vehicle.

Data from the accident and likely trauma is transmitted to emergency personnel via a cloud-based platform, enabling the deployment of appropriately skilled personnel and effective treatment once first responders arrive at the scene.

Last month, MDGo and Hyundai announced a partnership to co-develop connected services and enhance the safety capabilities of vehicles manufactured by the South Korean automotive giant.

"MDGo’s technology aims to do something that is close to our hearts, which is saving lives," said Volvo Cars Tech Fund CEO Zaki Fasihuddin.

"Their mission as a company seamlessly connects with ours at Volvo Cars, so we are happy to support the continued development of MDGo."

Volvo partnered with Toyota Tshusho, the trading arm of Toyota Group, and W. R. Berkley Corporation to lead a $31 million investment round in UVeye, the developer of artificial intelligence solutions for automatic external inspection of vehicles.

Initially developed for the security industry to detect weapons, explosives and other threats, UVeye's drive-through systems can detect external and mechanical flaws and other anomalies along the undercarriage and around the exterior of the vehicle.

Enabling vehicle manufacturers, logistic operators, retailers and rental car companies to carry out automatic vehicle inspections, the company has already partnered with Skoda and Daimler.

Following the investment, Volvo Cars and Toyota Tsusho said they intend to use UVeye’s inspection systems at various sites internationally, including Volvo's factories, dealerships and aftermarket, and Toyota's used car centers and throughout its Japanese operations.

"This latest investment including leading automotive strategic partners is an important signal that we believe paves the way for UVeye to become the standard of automotive inspection and safety," said UVeye CEO Amir Hever.

"We are delighted to have world-class companies in their respective sectors endorse our game-changing auto scanning solution."

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