An electric vehicle is, essentially, just "software on wheels", and requires lots of moving parts, not physical but, of course, virtual. That software needs to continually optimize the performance, efficiency and safety of the EV it’s running. But a problem has arisen: Not enough auto-makers unpack their software for others to help improve it. So, the more this embedded automotive software is de-coupled from the underlying electronic hardware, the more this optimization can take place, and the more efficient vehicles can become. That has important implications for things like battery range and performance overall.
This is part of the reason why U.K.-based Eatron, which makes this "intelligent automotive software", has managed to attract an $11 million Series A funding round led by the U.K.'s MMC Ventures.
Also participating was Aster Capital and Vietnamese Carmaker VinFast. Eatron has previously collaborated with VinFast on its range of electric cars. The startup also has a strategic partnership with the Hirschvogel Group from German, which invested $1.5 million.
The company's technology enables OEMs and Tier-1s to de-couple automotive software from its hardware for the purposes of battery management, intelligent motion control and advanced driver assistance. This has the effect of increasing supplier choice for OEMs and reducing cost, risks and time to market, says the company.
Part of the Series A funding will be used to expand the platform with additional partnerships for third-party software modules and semiconductor and hardware component suppliers. It will also grow its sales teams in Germany, India and USA.
Dr Umut Genc, co-founder and CEO at Eatron, said: “Mobility and automotive in particular, is in the middle of a dramatic transformation and as part of this change needs to become a software-driven industry. An intelligent automotive software platform, embedded at the edge and connected to the cloud, will play a critical role in this transformation.”
Mina Samaan, investor at MMC Ventures, said: “We have seen many software businesses building interesting algorithmic concepts to support OEMs, but none have had the expertise to meet the regulatory, security and safety requirements for automotive production. Eatron is the exception. Its software has been built from the ground up to be automotive grade and has the potential to drive the battery and autonomy features in hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the coming years.”