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Ghost raises $100 million for ‘breakthrough’ in autonomous driving safety

A startup company called Ghost has raised $100 million Series D financing, fueling the development of its autonomous driving system that features what it describes as “a revolutionary breakthrough in crash prevention”.

Returning investors Sutter Hill Ventures and Founders Fund participated in the round, along with a new commitment from Coatue.

Ghost was founded in 2017 with the belief that driving should not be dangerous. Despite all the technology and features included in modern cars, cars still crash – accidents and fatalities are going up, not down.

Even semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles struggle to recognize and avoid every potential obstacle on the road, instead relying on human intervention to handle edge cases and prevent crashes.

To solve this problem and realize the promise of safe self-driving, Ghost has invented crash prevention technology capable of detecting and handling any obstacle, regardless of speed, size, or type.

Unlike existing systems, Ghost does not need to recognize an obstacle to avoid it, instead applying new uses of artificial intelligence and physics to track objects in motion and avoid incoming threats.

Engineered to keep drivers safe in even the most unusual circumstances, Ghost’s fully automated crash prevention never relies on last-second human intervention.

John Hayes, Ghost CEO, says: “Crash prevention is the single most important problem in driving.

“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.”

Building on its commitment to consumer vehicle safety, Ghost has appointed former NHTSA Chief Counsel and Acting Administrator Jacqueline Glassman as General Counsel.

She brings more than 25 years of experience in motor vehicle and consumer safety across both the public and private sectors.

Glassman says: “For decades, I have been involved in helping to reduce the risk of crashes and improve road safety.

“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.”

Ghost is currently testing in California. The company will use the new capital to continue development and introduce the product next year.

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