A New York City startup has completed two years of stealth mode, entering the limelight with $6.4 million funding from Matrix Partners as well as Resolute Ventures, Notation Capital, and angels.
The question is: just what the heck does Carmera do?
“We operate a visual road sensor network built on top of safety monitoring services for professional fleets, to gather updated 3D scene, change detection and analytics data for city streets,” the company explains online. “Our machine vision pipelines extract rich texture and insight for autonomous vehicle mapping, as well as a broader set of built environment uses not served until now.”
Carmera, in essence, wants to develop rich 3D maps that autonomous vehicles can utilize, and it’s doing so by appealing to delivery fleet companies with an exchange of mutually beneficial services. The startup is not convinced that car makers can accomplish this; sure, they can build self-driving cars, but they can’t necessarily build the digital infrastructure necessary to have those cars function flawlessly on the road in real life.
“Our first product, Carmera Site Intelligence, provides comprehensive 3D reconstruction and site analytics data on-demand, accessible to anyone, anywhere,” the company says. “Whether helping architects model construction projects, real estate brokers determine foot traffic trends, or urban planners track streetscape changes, having instant access to this data versus relying on repeated site visits or slow, costly surveys is game-changing.”
The company likens its mission to crawling and indexing network architectures in digital environments—look at roadways as the paths from website to website or app to app. Can infrastructure become a wealth of living data that we can search through, build on, and leverage to create smart cities?
The internet has come a long way. Let’s see if Carmera can do the same for the real world.