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Smart cities and self-driving cars need good line markings, 10Lines fills the gap

Estonian startup 10Lines has invented a line marking robot that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to prepare the traffic of self-driving vehicles in the cities of the future.

Robots roaming around the city streets of Estonia is not an uncommon sight and parcel robots on the sidewalks is a normality already. However, robots moving around parking lots and roads are not yet so prevalent. 10Lines is an Estonian startup changing it day by day. Their autonomous parking lot striping robot might at first seem not so sophisticated but this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

To achieve high accuracy 10Lines uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the positioning reference signal from GNSS satellites. In the light of increased interest in self-driving cars, the company’s managers Tarmo Prints and Janno Paas believe that the importance of well-marked streets will increase exponentially in the coming years.

The initial idea from a line marking robot has evolved over the years and now the team is thinking about airports, harbours, and more importantly complex junctions in the future smart cities. 10Lines robot helps to save both time and money, as well as reduce CO2 emissions. Despite the fact that an automated robot helps to reduce the workforce, Prints and Paas told Invest Estonia that there is no reason for people to start to worry about their jobs. They have witnessed a high demand in the market, but not enough manpower to meet it. As a result, 10Lines robot is a tool helping to reduce this demand by allowing people to focus on the most important challenges.

Raised 700,000 euros to complete the prototype

Last summer, the company raised 700,000 euros from venture capital firms such as Tera Ventures and Perot Jain. According to the managers, 10Lines has grown and developed significantly after that. The robot is out of the initial prototype phase and the final product, which will be available for customers by the end of this year, is in development.

As the patent application process is ongoing, the co-founders did not want to dive into details of how the product evolved from the prototype phase.

Through Tera Ventures’ investment and contacts, the company has focused on the US market and the company’s biggest victory is also related to the United States.

“We can consider entering the US market as our biggest success. In just two weeks, we signed five preliminary agreements there. Despite the fact that we focus on selling and marketing the product to the USA, we do not plan to leave Estonia. The R&D and testing will be done in Estonia,” said the co-founders.

Tera Ventures founding partner James McDougall told Invest Estonia they are very keen to support founders having a strong and compelling vision to transform very large markets. This is what they saw in Paar and Prints. Tera Ventures became interested in 10Lines for the first time in November 2019 and according to McDougall, they started monitoring their development and talking to them in order to get to know the team and understand the problem they were solving.

Transforming the industry

McDougall believes the 10Lines robotic solution, which uses AI and machine learning, will transform an industry that hasn’t changed in decades. In August 2020, Tera Ventures saw a more realistic potential in 10Lines and started the due diligence process.

“Tarmo and Janno are very professional and a joy to work with. We are proud to introduce them to our global network of limited and industrial partners,” McDougall added.

With experience with many startups, McDougall sees 10Lines’ strength in their achievements. If the co-founders promise to do something, they will keep that promise. In addition, they continue to look for ways to move faster with their plans at every step.

“These guys have a 360 view of everything and are very good at anticipating and working around obstacles. They are moving at a fantastic pace in product development while the market conditions only continue to improve in advance of their commercialisation phase,” McDougall noted.

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