The seed funding will support CMU spinout RoadBotics’ automated road inspection platform already used by 78 clients in the US and Australia.
RoadBotics, a US-based automated road inspection technology spinout from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has received $3.9m in a seed round led by deep technology-focused venturing firm Hyperplane Venture Capital.
The company’s investors also include Wharton Alumni Angels, a syndicate for University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, as well as Urban-X, a startup accelerator run by carmaker BMW’s Mini brand and venture fund Urban-Us, which has also made a direct contribution.
Innovation Works, part of Pennsylvania government investment scheme Ben Franklin Technology Partners, has also been named as an investor along with Ekistic Ventures and Radical Ventures.
Formed in 2016 from CMU’s Robotics Institute, RoadBotics has developed a cloud-hosted road inspection technology that works by applying deep learning to imaging data collected through a smartphone positioned on the windshield of a standard vehicle.
The platform automatically grades the condition of road surfaces based on features and faults typically identified by pavement engineers, before cataloguing the results on an interactive road mapping service called RoadWay.
RoadBotics will use the seed funding to satisfy the needs of roadway and other infrastructure management bodies, having already secured partnerships with 78 municipal and county clients in the US and Australia.
Christoph Mertz, a principal project scientist at Carnegie Mellon primarily concerned with intelligent vehicles, co-founded RoadBotics alongside CMU adjunct professor Mark DeSantis and Benjamin Schmidt, an alumnus of University of Pittsburgh.
RoadBotics is also listed in the portfolio of VC firm 3Lines, though further details could not be ascertained.