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Ghost Raises $100M to Fuel Self-Driving System


July 1, 2021

Autonomous driving safety firm Ghost has announced closing a $100 million Series D financing round, to help continue development of its system that aims to prevent automobile crashes. Returning investors Sutter Hill Ventures and Founders Fund participated in the round, along with a new commitment from Coatue. The company is currently testing in California, and said it will use the new capital to continue development and introduce its product next year.

Founded in 2017, Ghost develops crash prevention technology capable of detecting and handling any obstacle, regardless of speed, size, or type. Unlike existing systems, Ghost’s technology does not need to recognize an obstacle to avoid it – instead it applies new uses of artificial intelligence and physics to track objects in motion to avoid incoming threats, the company said. The fully automated crash prevention never relies on last-second human intervention, which occurs with semi-autonomous and even other fully autonomous vehicles with edge cases. 

The system includes a series of front cameras, side cameras, rear cameras and a self-driving computer. The cameras collect visual inputs, allowing the computer to make driving decisions, along with connections to gas, brake and steering to fully control the car. When Ghost is ready, a user can let go of the wheel and Ghost will take over, with a human resuming manual driving by using the steering wheel, gas, or brake pedal at any time.The company’s first product is currently being tested on select car models.

“Crash prevention is the single most important problem in driving,” said John Hayes, CEO of Ghost. “Automotive safety innovation has historically focused on alleviating the effects of crashes. Now we finally have the technology to prevent crashes before they occur – the breakthrough needed to bring safe self-driving to our highways.”

In addition to the funding announcement, Ghost announced it has appointed former National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Chief Counsel and Acting Administrator Jacqueline Glassman as the company’s new General Counsel. Glassman brings more than 25 years of experience in motor vehicle and consumer safety across the public and private sectors, Ghost said.

“For decades, I have been involved in helping to reduce the risk of crashes and improve road safety,” said Glassman. “I am thrilled to continue that mission at Ghost by helping advance its unique approach to crash prevention, which will ultimately make safe self-driving available on a mass scale. As we bring Ghost’s technology to market, we can start saving lives within years, not decades.”

For more information on the company and its offerings, visit the Ghost website.

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