Backing Secured for Military UGV Autonomy Software

Set to be accelerated through $10 million in seed funding, the OverDrive software from Overland AI enables uncrewed vehicles to autonomously navigate off-road terrain in all environmental conditions, at up to 45 mph By William Mackenzie / 29 May 2024
Backing Secured for Military UGV Autonomy Software
Follow DA

Overland AI has secured $10 million in seed funding to accelerate its OverDrive autonomy software for off-road uncrewed ground vehicles (UGVs)

Overland AI

The seed funding was led by Point72 Ventures with participation from Shasta Ventures, Ascend VC, Pioneer Square Labs, Voyager Capital, and Cubit Capital.

In addition to fueling Overland AI’s plans to increase its workforce, with a focus on hiring top engineering talent, the financing will support the expanded development and testing of the company’s OverDrive software. 

The OverDrive software is a vehicle-agnostic solution that enables the autonomous navigation of off-road terrain in all environmental conditions, at speeds up to 45 mph.

The technology is poised to meet a growing demand for autonomous off-road capabilities — particularly in the defense sector, where emerging innovations are accelerating the pace of advanced robotics adoption to enhance safety in the field. 

The U.S. Army and Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) recently awarded a $18.6 million ceiling prototype Other Transaction (OT) agreement to Overland AI. The agreement was for Overland AI to adapt its OverDrive technology to drive autonomous vehicles capable of traversing complex terrain in contested areas. 

In addition, Overland AI was recently selected as a performer on Phase II of the DARPA RACER program, to continue advanced capability development and demonstration of OverDrive in operationally-relevant terrain. The demonstrations feature OverDrive integrated into heavy tracked platforms similar in size to forthcoming robotic and optionally manned combat/fighting vehicles, and the lightweight wheeled vehicles already in use.

Byron Boots, co-founder and CEO of Overland AI, commented; “We are committed to the advancement of ground vehicle autonomy to support national security and minimize risk to our warfighters. With this funding, we can accelerate development and create high-performance ground autonomy software designed for uncrewed vehicles in any contested terrain.”

The Overland AI team has a long history of working on off-road autonomy problems in a research capacity before forming the company. In addition to his role as CEO of Overland AI, Byron Boots is the Amazon Endowed Professor of Machine Learning at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington (UW). Boots’ Robot Learning Lab at UW has advanced new machine learning approaches to robotics and control, and has collaborated with the U.S. Army Research Lab and DARPA on several research programs over the past 10 years.

Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact
Latest Articles