Suzuki Motor Corporation has invested in Melbourne-based vehicle software company Applied Electric Vehicles Ltd, which says it’s on a mission to “unlock the power of autonomous mobility”.
Established in 2015, Applied EV focuses on software for electric, autonomous driving – areas where Suzuki has some ground to make up. The company is led by former General Motors director of advanced portfolio planning Julian Broadbent.
Suzuki’s strategic investment into Applied EV is part of the latest $21 million funding round.
Applied EV’s ‘Digital Backbone’ is billed as a modular and centralised control system combining software, firmware, and electronics that enable level 4 and 5 autonomy. It claims one upside is the way its integrated system cuts hardware complexity and thereby vehicle cost.
Applied EV wants to be the first control system provider with what’s called an ASIL D certification for on-road automated passenger vehicles.
The Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) is the global standard for functional safety of road vehicles, looking at the functional safety requirements for the different electrical and electronics systems in a vehicle.. ASIL D certification is the hardest marker to hit.
Applied EV also makes the Blanc Robot, an autonomous vehicle that can be configured for multiple commercial uses from on-road deliveries such as groceries and packages, to off-road industrial logistics.
Suzuki entered into an agreement with Applied EV in September 2021 and has since been evaluating the possibility of future collaboration, it says.
“The Suzuki investment in Applied EV is another step to strengthen the relationship between the two companies and realise synergies like manufacturing and new business models,” the company said.
“Suzuki will continue to build relationships with companies like Applied EV that possess unique technologies, to accelerate the development of next generation mobility and provide a variety of transport solutions that will benefit people and society.”