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Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, the venture capital arm of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., has invested in the $7 million seed financing round of Edge Case Research, which helps market autonomous vehicle technologies and services, the companies said in respective statements Thursday.
Also participating in the funding were Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of Aurora Innovation Inc.; simulation software provider ANSYS Inc.; Lockheed Martin Ventures, part of Lockheed Martin Corp.; Trucks Venture Capital; and Blue Tree Allied Angels, the Edge statement said.
Liberty’s strategic venture with Edge Case Research includes a pilot program with Edge Case Research’s Hologram product, which tests software and hardware used by autonomous vehicles to perceive their environment, the Liberty statement said.
This research will help Liberty develop new and enhanced risk management options for companies offering autonomous vehicle solutions, as well as better understand risk selection and pricing for these firms, the Liberty statement said.
“Our partnership with Edge Case Research will let us better meet the complex risk management needs of such companies by understanding how to successfully identify, mitigate and manage their risks,” Brendan Smyth, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, global risk solutions, said in the Liberty statement.
“We’ve built an investor group that shares our mission to empower innovators to bring safe, trustworthy technologies to market,” Michael Wagner, Edge Case Research CEO, said in the Edge statement. “This ambitious vision is behind everything we do.”
Drones and self-driving vehicles offer great opportunities for the insurance sector, but also new exposures that must be thoroughly vetted and addressed from an insurance and risk management perspective, according to legal experts.