Finnish self-driving tech startup Sensible 4 secures €8M from EIB

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Finland-based Sensible 4, an autonomous driving technology firm, announced on Thursday that it has received a loan of €8M from The European Investment Bank (EIB) to boost sustainable transport.

Autonomous driving generally refers to self-driving vehicles or transport systems that move without the intervention of a human driver. It contributes to sustainable transport as well as aims to reduce the number of traffic accidents, and carbon dioxide and polluting emissions. 

About The European Investment Bank

The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute toward EU policy goals.

The loan is part of the European Guarantee Fund’s venture debt product, which provides liquidity to small and medium-sized companies affected by the pandemic.

According to EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, “The automotive industry, including autonomous driving, is going through a radical transformation revolution with a high potential to reduce the carbon footprint from transport. Our financing for Sensible 4, a leader in addressing the widely recognised problem of autonomous operations in bad weather conditions, shows the EIB’s commitment to supporting European innovation leaders and more sustainable transport methods.”

A self-driving technology company

Founded in 2017 and led by CEO Harri Santamala, Sensible 4 is a spin-off from Aalto University. It claims to have solved an obstacle in autonomous driving, varying weather. The company develops SAE Level 4 full-stack autonomous driving software that turns any vehicle into a self-driving vehicle. 

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The technology combines software and information from several different sensors, enabling vehicles to operate in all weather conditions, including snowfall, heavy rain, fog, and sandstorms, even in the absence of well-marked lanes.

Discussing the challenges that Sensible 4 wants to tackle, Harri Santamala says, “On top of how shared, autonomous and electric transport is a sustainable option, self-driving vehicles also bring a solution to the acute driver shortage in Europe. Expanding public transport and increasing logistics would require even more drivers, and a self-driving fleet with remote operations is a great way to solve that problem.”

Capital utilisation

Sensible 4 reports that the funds will enable the company to accelerate R&D expenditures related to technology, as well as for use in product development. It expects to reach the commercial stage soon and become a leading provider for the automotive sector in Europe and Asia.

Harri Santamala adds, “We are excited that the EIB sees the potential in our technology and is financing us in this early stage. The money has helped us finalise our baseline product and will now help us continue to pre-production with our non-exclusive partners, targeting mass production. The first Sensible 4 product is ready for pre-production.”

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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