Sea Machines raises funding to further develop autonomous technology

US-based maritime autonomous technology developer Sea Machines Robotics has raised $10m in a Series A investment round to develop advanced situational awareness systems for vessels.

The funding round was led by Accomplice and Eniac Ventures. It was also joined by Toyota AI Ventures and Brunswick.

The latest financing has brought the total amount of investment raised by Sea Machines to $12.5m.

Sea Machines plans to use the new funds to expand the sales and global presence of its new products, bolster R&D and engineering teams, as well as launch new product feature sets.

Sea Machines founder and CEO Michael Gordon Johnson said: “We are creating the technology that propels the future of the marine industries.

“This investment enables us to double down on our commitment to building advanced command and control products that make the industry more capable, productive and profitable.

“This backing is another signal that Sea Machines is the unquestioned leader in the space and is playing an integral role in the revolution of marine and maritime operations driven by technology.”

Currently, Sea Machines is developing new advanced perception and navigation assistance technology for multiple vessel types, including container ships.

The company aims to begin testing the technology on-board an AP Moller-Maersk’s new-build ice-class container ships by the first quarter of next year.

Toyota AI Ventures founding managing director Jim Adler said: “Sea Machines’ autonomous technology and advanced perception systems can reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance safety in the multi-billion dollar commercial shipping industry.

“This marks our first investment in the maritime industry, and we’re excited to embark on this journey with Sea Machines.”

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, US, Toyota AI Ventures is a subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute (TRI).