DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. auto insurer State Farm and Japanese insurance company Tokio Marine have teamed up for a $111 million funding round for self-driving vehicle technology start-up May Mobility, it said on Tuesday. the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company.
The funding will allow May Mobility to continue working with Toyota Motor Corp on autonomous movers, May Mobility said in a statement. May said he aims to remove human drivers from vehicles in commercial operation by next year.
State Farm, one of the largest U.S. auto insurers, has invested through its arm State Farm Ventures, which invests in startups working on technologies that can improve vehicle safety.
Insurance industry support for self-driving vehicle technology could be crucial as self-driving vehicle companies work to convince regulators that robotic vehicles can be safer than human-driven ones.
May said the latest funding was led by Japanese investment firm Sparx Asset Management Co.’s Mirai Creation Fund II.
The May fundraiser comes at a difficult time for some autonomous and electric vehicle startups, as investors have moved away from riskier ventures. Autonomous vehicle company Argo AI announced last week that it would cut 150 of its more than 2,000 employees worldwide.
(Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)
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