AI startup Daedalean raises CHF 12 million to launch air taxi services


Zurich based AI startup, Daedalean has closed a new funding round, bringing its total funding to CHF 11.8 million. The startup developed first certifiable AI for autonomous piloting and flight control which will soon be launched on the market, thanks to the new capital.


The new funding round for Daedalean was led by Carthona Capital with the participation of VCs such as Redalpine and Amino Capital as well as three former engineering managers of Daedalean’s founder and CEO, Luuk van Dijk, back in his times at Google, are investing as business angels. The funds will enable Daedalean to further execute on its plans to launch products based on sensing and perception algorithms. Having identified the limits of human-centred piloting and air traffic control, the company plans to release in 2021 a safety-enhancing solution at DAL-C (the Design Assurance Level set for software at the major level of safety-criticalness as defined by aviation authorities). The solution is aimed at being aircraft-agnostic – to work for eVTOL and fly-by-wire aircraft, as well as for traditional aviation. Daedalean, with partners, is conducting flight tests and working on certifying its solutions with major aviation authorities (EASA, FAA). Full autonomy will be a key enabler for future personal air taxi services. Daedalean, which was founded in 2016 by a team of engineers who earned their marks at companies like Google and SpaceX, has set the goal is to develop and certify the world first DAL-A rated autopilot – the highest safety-critical level for a fully autonomous flight. Daedalean is developing software for safety-critical avionics, integrating modern robotics, computer vision and deep AI for safety-critical avionics. The solution will empower air mobility, raising to the sky hundreds thousands of eVTOLs instead of hundreds. The product roadmap is aimed to systematically outperform human pilots on all their functions. “With the worldwide system of civil aviation working at the limits of its capacity already, and with shortages of human pilots and air traffic controllers already impacting the scalability of flight today, a future with small safe and silent personal air taxis is simply infeasible without full autonomy,” according to Van Dijk, founder and CEO. “As we demonstrated on our recent flight tests with Volocopter and other partners, Daedalean is well on its way to developing the needed capabilities.” Growing team and partnersDaedalean’s team has today grown to more than 20 members among them software engineers, avionics specialists and pilots. Daedalean also works with major eVTOL companies and leading aerospace manufacturers to specify, build, test and certify a fully autonomous sensor and autopilot system that can reliably and completely replace the human pilot. It has developed systems demonstrating crucial capabilities on a path to certification for airworthiness. Currently, the company is working with EASA on an Innovation Partnership Contract to develop concepts of design assurance for neural networks.(Press release/ran)