CapStone Holdings, a business incubator and investment group, has made a $10 million equity investment in Perrone Robotics, a provider of fully autonomous vehicle systems.
Perrone delivers autonomous mobility through what it says is “the world’s first and only patented general purpose robotics operating system and autonomous vehicle retrofit kit” (TONY).
TONY embeds inside any vehicle for any job, to provide an “artificial driver” solution that brings full autonomy in a safety certifiable framework for the right vehicle platform.
Perrone’s solution aims to help commercial, municipal, and governmental customers increase transportation efficiencies, enhance safety, and accelerate zero-emission electric vehicle deployment.
Perrone Robotics will utilize a portion of the investment to establish an advanced autonomous vehicle testing facility at the American Center for Mobility (ACM) in Southeast Michigan.
ACM is a collaborative effort of government, industry and academic organizations focused on accelerating the mobility industry through testing, research, standards development and educational programming.
The new test facility will enable advanced, high-speed, and continuous testing of autonomous transit vans, shuttles, and other vehicles equipped with Perrone’s TONY product.
CapStone’s engagement with Perrone Robotics highlights its ongoing strategic investments in proven enterprises well-positioned for substantial growth.
CapStone serves growing, innovative companies in technology, real estate and healthcare with private capital, executive guidance and creativity.
In their evaluation of Perrone, CapStone’s leadership utilized their direct knowledge of working with companies offering adaptive digital technology for legacy systems and global fleet services.
Some research estimates that the autonomous vehicle services market will experience a 60 percent annual growth rate, reaching $202 billion by 2030.
Keith Stone, of CapStone Holdings, says: “With our 25 years in global fleet management technology, we are very excited to offer our full backing and support for Paul and his proven team at Perrone Robotics.
“We see the company as the clear leader now separating themselves in the autonomous mobility space. They continue to demonstrate incredible speed from concept to actual integration.”
Perrone Robotics developed one of the earliest driverless vehicles in the space using its patented full-stack software platform called “MAX”.
Among the company’s current offerings is a vehicle agnostic drop-in retrofit kit used in roadworthy all-electric transit vans, neighborhood electric vehicles, and tractor-trailers for logistics. Dubbed TONY – short for TO Navigate You – the kit is capable of Level 4/5 autonomy.
Paul Perrone, founder and CEO of Perrone Robotics, says: “CapStone Holdings’ investment allows us to scale and capture the extraordinary pipeline of opportunity and interest our technology has garnered over the past few years,.
“Our general-purpose retrofit kit approach, proven in over 30 different vehicles to date and tailored for geographically fenced applications, has touched a nerve. Customers see real value in the Perrone Robotics path to deployable and production-grade autonomy in vehicles most suited for their operational environment.
“This investment, along with the opening of a test facility at ACM, will bring a hardened and proven commercial product fully to market.”
Trevor Pawl, senior vice president and chief mobility officer of Michigan state’s Office of Future Mobility & Electrification (OFME), says: “The state of Michigan has proudly supported and invested in the American Center for Mobility to further cement Michigan as the global epicenter of the automotive industry both today and in the autonomous and electrified future.
“CapStone Holdings is an investment leader for next-generation technologies. Their investment in Perrone Robotics – combined with a focus on Michigan – will continue to position ACM, the state of Michigan, and the country at the forefront of new mobility technology and industry sector growth.”
Perrone Robotics recently announced the deployment of an all-electric, fully autonomous, paratransit vehicle to the Jacksonville Transit Authority capable of speeds of up to 65 mph.
The company also announced a partnership with an international fleet orchestration platform provider that automates dispatching, routing, and ride-matching for autonomous fleets.
Reuben Sarkar, ACM CEO and president, says: “Perrone Robotics is a significant addition to our technology campus and smart mobility test center. The company is uniquely positioned to accelerate next-generation transportation technology and instant applications for autonomous vehicles.
“As more high-tech companies like Perrone Robotics continue to be drawn to ACM to expand research and to test their applications, the mobility ecosystem and the value to the region becomes richer as a result.”
A leading test center for developing and testing self-driving vehicles, the ACM provides a full Intelligent Transportation System, myriad of real-world environments with the ability to test under a range of driving environments and infrastructure that includes a 2.5-mile highway loop, a 700-foot curved tunnel, two double overpasses, intersections and roundabouts.