Release date: 16 September 2021
Promoter – Financial Intermediary
SENSIBLE 4 OY
The project concerns the development of Autonomous Vehicles technologies and Last-Mile Autonomous Shuttle applications. The research and development (R&D) focus will be on delivering efficient systems capable of functioning under any adverse weather conditions.
Additionality and Impact
The project contributes to the Bank's Innovation, Digital and Human Capital objective. It concerns the promoters (a start-up) investment in the development of an innovative Autonomous Vehicle technology that addresses the widely recognised problem of autonomous operation in bad weather conditions. The application targets the niche last-mile autonomous shuttle sub segment, and has the potential of wider adoption across automotive (ADAS and AD) applications. Also while the solution is not dedicated to electric vehicles, it fits best with electric power trains and targets mostly the EV segment, contributing to the wider adoption of electromobility.
This project addresses three sub-optimal investment situations: (i) imperfect competition and incomplete markets, by contributing to increase the level of competition and enable the development of the appropriate supply chains to facilitate the adoption and scale up of AD operations also in adverse weather conditions; (ii) positive knowledge externalities, stemming from the RDI activities to develop innovative technologies, accentuated by the company's strong collaborative activities at European and national level with academia, industrial partners and other technology companies; and (iii) financial market failures linked to imperfect and asymmetric information (the promoter is a start-up company investing in an innovative technology competing with a number of AD technologies). EIB support will therefore address the suboptimal investment situations and accelerate the expected benefits to society
The introduction of advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving technologies is expected to contribute to the reduction of traffic accidents, mainly due to human errors, and to accelerate the adoption of zero-carbon emission vehicles, particularly in metropolitan areas, and thus the reduction of carbon dioxide and polluting emissions. As such, the promoter's investments rank high in terms of sustainability.
The EIB financing follows a tailor-made structure with better financial terms (fixed rate, longer tenor and availability) compared to other instruments available for start-up's in the EU. Thanks to such terms, the company's investment needs for the commercialization of its product are well covered while avoiding excessive cash outflows before profits appear. The EIB presence is expected to provide positive signals in the market and crowd in additional investors in case the company pursues further equity financing rounds.
The Bank's technical contribution and advice is explained by (a) the guidance provided to align the scope definition with policy objectives at project origination and (b) the monitoring requirements during project implementation given the small size of the promoter and the associated risk level.
The project concerns the company's R&D investments related to the technology and product development of their Autonomous Driving kit as well as the four modules that comprise the full stack. The investments will be carried out in Finland between 2021 and 2023 and will support the company's growth and its introduction as an industrial player in the innovative sector of Autonomous Vehicle technologies. All investments will be incurred in Europe mainly for R&D investments, including salaries and general R&D expenses.
- Services - Information and communication
Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)
EUR 8 million
Total cost (Approximate amount)
EUR 22 million
R&D activities are not listed in any annexes of the Directive 2014/52/EU amending the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU, and the project does not include capital investments.
The company is a private sector company not operating in the utilities sector and not having a status of a contracting authority. Thus, it is not covered by the EU Public Procurement Directives. Nevertheless, the procurement policies and the supply management characteristics as presented to the Bank are considered acceptable.
Signed - 29/11/2021
Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The data provided on this page is therefore indicative and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).