Revvo, which makes machine learning-trained software and sensors that predict how much life a tire has left, today announced the close of a $4 million funding round to expand that effort.
The smart sensors are placed inside a car wheel well to track indicators like tire pressure, temperature, rotation, and sound. These sensors also measure environmental conditions, like whether the vehicle is traveling on rough or smooth roads or its tires frequently encounter ice or rain.
Currently in the stages of rebranding as Revvo, the company is initially targeting its sensor-driven software at fleet operators who buy large quantities of tires and would like to reduce their consumption and cut costs.
The new funding will be used to grow the company’s technical team and support trials like the one Revvo conducted last year with Goodyear.
In the future, Revvo wants to help drivers recognize how their individual driving behavior impacts vehicle safety and performance.
“You buy a tire, and the tire manufacturer will say ‘This tire should last you 50,000 miles’. But it ranges wildly depending on who’s driving, where they’re driving, and what vehicle it’s on,” Revvo cofounder and CEO Sunjay Dodani told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
Dodani wants Revvo’s smart tire sensors to deliver insights to the driver assistant systems being built into cars today and later to the control outputs of autonomous vehicles.
If an autonomous system understands that a tire has only half its tread left, for example, the vehicle might brake a few car lengths earlier than it otherwise would have.
“[For automakers] to be able to deploy the next-generation vehicle, they need every component in the vehicle to communicate its status, and if there’s something wrong, [to communicate] what’s wrong and use that as a continuous feedback mechanism into their control outputs,” he said.
Revvo plans to charge around $10 per sensor, Dodani said, beginning with disposable units, and it plans to make sensors transferable between tires.
The $4 million round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from AngelList and Vulcan Capital. Revvo has raised $4.6 million to date.
Revvo currently has seven employees and is based in San Mateo, California.