Bluespace.ai, A Startup for Mass Transit Secures $3.5 Million in Seed Funding

Bluespace.ai, a San Jose, California-based autonomous driving startup focused on mass transit, announced today that it has raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Fusion Fund.

Other investors included YouTube’s co-founder Steve Chen; UMC, the Taiwanese semiconductor foundry; GDP Ventures; Kakao Ventures; Atinum; Blue Ivy Ventures; Wasabi Ventures; Plug n Play; and SLV Capital.

A Team with Experience

Bluespace.ai develops software systems for autonomous mass transit fleets and is currently in talks with cities and transit providers. Its founding team consists of CEO Joel Pazhayampallil, who co-founded Drive.ai (which was bought by Apple earlier this year), and President and COO Christine Moon, who had served as the head of partnerships for Google’s Nexus program.

Its team comprises people who have worked at AV companies like Zoox, Lyft Level 5, and Voyage. Their amalgamated experience includes rolling out AV fleets in Texas, California, and Florida.

According to Moon’s email to TechCrunch, Bluespace.ai’s software provides safe AV operation without the requirement for millions of miles of testing by recent generation AVs. This enables their mission of making urban mobility more reasonable, accessible, and sustainable through mass transit automation.

Some of the big names in auto-making such as Volvo and Toyota, and startups like May Mobility and Optimus Ride, are also working on AV solutions for mass transit.

Moon said Bluespace.ai’s special focus is on increasing the overall capability and efficiency across trunk transit routes with higher rider capacity. Moon added that Bluespace.ai aims at enabling full-size vehicles to safely travel on public roads at road speed thus, serving more passengers at a time. While other startups have primarily focused on first- and last-mile solutions for slow-speed vehicles that are a part of the main transit systems.

In a press statement, Fusion Fund managing partner Lu Zhang said, “After looking at many investment opportunities in the AV space, we found that BlueSpace stood out with their revolutionary technology approach and providing near term market application. The founding team has an incredibly strong technology background and significant deployment experience, having launched AV services in Florida, Texas, and California”.

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