Autonomous driving mobility startup, ThorDrive, raises KRW 8.4 billion in funding

April 22, 2020

ThorDrive, an autonomous driving platform development startup that has proposed the possibility of self-driving services through an autonomous driving delivery pilot services in Silicon Valley and Seoul, South Korea, has successfully secured $6.9 million (approximately KRW 8.4 billion) in Pre Series A investment from POSCO GEM1 Fund. The fund, operated by POSCO Technology Investment and funded by POSCO and Kiwoom/Emford New Technology Investment Association. This brings ThorDrive's total investment to $9.4 million (approximately KRW 11.4 billion).

The investment was led by Kiwoom/Emford, with POSCO joining as a strategic investor. Through this investment, ThorDrive plans to enhance the performance of its fully autonomous driving solution in stages 4-5 and develop practical self-driving technology that can be implemented in real-world services in the near future.

ThorDrive is a mobility tech startup that develops a comprehensive autonomous driving solution and platform. The company has successfully tested its self-developed autonomous driving technology in various road environments, including cities in Silicon Valley, USA, and downtown Seoul, Korea. These tests have verified the high completeness and safety of the technology.

ThorAIDriver™, ThorDrive's end-to-end autonomous driving solution, performs real-time object recognition, positioning, judgment/path generation, and control. It utilizes various sensors including LiDAR, cameras, radar, low-cost GPS, and advanced artificial intelligence (AI). In particular, the artificial intelligence technology used for creating and navigating through complex city roads and back road environments is the representative technology of ThorDrive. This technology has been proven through the use of high-precision positioning technology that operates in GPS shaded areas, as well as a 100,000 km urban driving test..

Based on its fully autonomous driving technology, which has been verified through various demonstration services, ThorDrive is receiving a lot of attention and recognition from global Tier 1 self-driving consumers, as well as logistics and distribution companies in Europe.

This year, ThorDrive plans to develop and launch an autonomous personal mover for transportation disadvantaged individuals at Incheon International Airport Terminals 1 and 2. Additionally, they aim to collaborate with a global Tier 1 company in Europe to develop a new concept of autonomous vehicles for the U.S. market, with the goal of accelerating pilot services.

Kye Dong-kyoung, CEO of ThorDrive, mentioned, "Our objective is to create autonomous driving technology that can be accessible to the general public, rather than just being a demonstration." He also stated, "Beginning with the implementation of fully autonomous vehicles in real-world scenarios this year, ThorDrive intends to expedite its research and development efforts to eventually apply and commercialize its autonomous driving technology across various services." This pre-Series A investment will serve as the foundation for the commercialization of fully autonomous driving technology. It will help ThorDrive achieve their goal of developing actual fully autonomous driving technology and exploring different markets.

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