DAV Foundation, the non-profit start-up building a decentralised global network for autonomous vehicles, has completed a US$24 million fundraising to develop an open source platform for self-driving vehicles, on the ground, in the air and on the water. The DAV platform allows vehicles to interconnect with other vehicles and operators on the network, enabling them to discover, communicate and transact with each other. Users will have an entire ecosystem of self-driving vehicles on-demand that is able to bring them anything or take them anywhere.
The DAV Foundation exists to enable the new world of mobility-as-a-service, supporting a new passenger economy with large scale enablement and adoption of drones, autonomous vehicles, robots and the infrastructure required to operate them including charging stations, vehicle communication and peer-to-peer trading.
Today, large organisations are experimenting with fleets of autonomous vehicles: Domino’s Pizza delivery robots, Amazon’s Prime air drones, Waymo’s autonomous taxis. These and other pilot projects are leading the way towards fully autonomous transportation systems. All face the same issues of perception, localisation and decision making, as well as a need for charging and docking infrastructure. Together, these challenges restrict the pace of the transformative autonomous technologies being released and adopted by the market.
Noam Copel, founder and CEO of the DAV Foundation, said, “The automotive and transportation industries are undergoing their biggest revolution since Henry Ford’s first assembly line in 1908. The booming ‘sharing economy’ is shaking up industries from office space, to music to transportation. In addition to this, technology advances will soon make autonomous vehicles an integral part of our daily lives.
“As these trends converge, the movement of goods and people will take a completely new shape, but the barriers of centralisation remain. To overcome these obstacles the autonomous vehicle sector needs a decentralised transportation infrastructure, one that incentivises all participants – businesses, citizens, manufacturers, insurers – to use it and integrate it into their everyday activities.”
DAV Foundation addresses these centralisation barriers by providing an open source, decentralised network that enables – and encourages – collaboration, ultimately delivering true mobility-as-a-service in the near term. Using open source technology and principles will bring innovation to the edge. It will give more participants control over the pace and direction of autonomous vehicle innovation, simplifying and harmonising the development of innovative applications and services.
Since May 2018, the DAV Foundation has launched autonomous drone and boat charging services and will be soon be introducing its decentralised ride-hailing network, long-range drone charging facilities and enabling the first vehicle to hire another vehicle to complete the last mile of a delivery.
Behind the DAV Foundation lies a strong army of expert advisors, covering all key components of the transportation space. With background experience working for the likes of Ford (Sai Yagnyamurthy), NASA (Dr. Scott Horowitz) and IBM (Dr. Giovanni Lanfranchi), to name a few, these members provide the Foundation with specialist knowledge and expertise, and work collaboratively with the broader team to build a smart and forward-thinking future of transportation.
The DAV Network is live today and the team is working on several projects in Europe and the US, to deliver the missing piece of the future of transportation puzzle – a global network that any company and anyone can use. The network is already being adopted by leading members of the transportation industry, including The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), Slipstream Advantage, SkySense and Global Robot and Drone Deployment (GRADD).
About the DAV Foundation
The DAV Foundation’s mission is to promote and support research and development of the DAV Network, built on an open-source protocol. The organization is guided by principles of transparency and openness, and invites the DAVcommunity to help build a new way of transporting goods and people around the globe using blockchain technology. The DAV Foundation is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.