Investors Go Back To Basics With Simpler Self-Driving Vehicles

British AV software company Oxbotica, Sweden’s Einride, America’s Outrider and British supplier Aurrigo International Plc are among a number of companies drawing investor interest with more focused approaches, aimed at smaller, simpler customer segments – from mining vehicles to tractors or forklifts.

After watching robotaxi firms spend billions on technology that could still be many years away, investors are looking for startups that burn less cash and are preferably already generating revenue, said Kasper Sage, managing partner at BMW’s venture capital fund BMW iVentures, which led autonomous forklift company Fox Robotics’ $20 million funding round in October…

Faced with the long-term conundrum that people and robots do not mix well, investors have gone back to basics, targeting less-complex, less cash-intensive forms of autonomy with a clearer path to payback, operating at lower speeds with little to no traffic.