IAI Unveiled a Robotic Submarine

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced this weekend the first large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), called BlueWhale. According to IAI announcement, the submarine has successfully undergone thousands of autonomous operation hours, including intelligence-gathering for both maritime and coastal targets, acoustic intelligence, and identifying the presence of naval mines. The autonomous submarine can perform its missions for periods of several weeks, without the need for operators on board.

“For the first time in the world, IAI’s Elta managed to bring to maturity the development and production of an autonomous underwater system able to perform a wide range of tasks,” said IAI VP and ELTA’s CEO, Yoav Tourgeman. The 5.5 tons Electric UAV BlueWhale (code named ELI-3325) reaches speeds of up to 7 knots and can stay for up to 30 days on sea. Payload sensors and communications options include RADAR, EO/IR, SIGINT, sonars, magnetic sensors and SATCOM.

The BlueWhale is equipped with a telescopic mast, like the periscope of a manned submarine, several meters high, on which are mounted radar and electro-optical systems for detecting sea and coastal targets. By using a satellite communications antenna on the mast, the gathered data can be transferred in real-time to command posts, anywhere in the world, at sea or on land.

Submarine detection and acoustic intelligence-gathering data is enabled using a sonar, several tens of meters long, towed by the BlueWhale, and by flank array sonar with receiver arrays attached to both sides of the platform. Mine detection is performed using a dedicated synthetic aperture sonar, attached to the sides of the vessel. IAI also revealed that the development of the system brought to  a number of international registered patents.

Foretellix Raised $43 Million

Above: Ziv Binyamini, Foretellix CEO and Co-Founder

NVIDIA and Toyota have made an investment in Tel aviv-based Foretellix, a provider of safety-driven verification and validation solutions for Automated Driving Systems and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Foretellix announced it has raised $43 million in the first closing of its Series C funding round led by 83North, bringing its total raised capital to over $93 million.

This time, Woven Capital of Toyota and NVIDIA joined the financing round, along with Artofin VC. All major existing shareholders participated, including MoreTech, Nationwide, Volvo Group VC, and Jump Capital. “We are thrilled to have Woven by Toyota and NVIDIA as strategic partners,” said Ziv Binyamini, Foretellix CEO and Co-Founder. “The new funding will help us to extend our worldwide reach, and accelerate our vision for achieving safe autonomy.”

Foretellix’s Safety-Driven Verification & Validation (SDV) Platform, Foretify, is used by Automotive, Trucking, and Mining customers, including Volvo Group, Daimler Truck subsidiary, and many others, to accelerate the development and deployment of their Automated Driving Systems. Foretellix established partnerships with major simulation companies, including IPG, NVIDIA, dSPACE, VIRES, AI Motive, and Cognata.

The platform is based on a new invention: The Measurable Scenario Description Language (M-SDL) – a modeling language addressing the needs of Autonomous Vehicle (AV) and ADAS verification. M-SDL allows users to create a partial, abstract description of a scenario together with a set of legality rules. In order to thoroughly verify an AV or ADAS, users often need to take into account multiple ways of categorizing actors or scenarios. This can be easily modeled in M-SDL, and thus to save the need for countless actual driving sessions on physical roads.

Foretellix led the ASAM OpenSCENARIO® 2.0 (OSC2.0) standard development revolutionizing how safety is developed and tested in Automated Driving Systems. Foretellix contributed key syntax and concepts to ASAM, and it continues to lead further enhancements of the standard. The Foretify platform is the industry’s first solution offering native OSC2.0 support.