Hold the wheel and drive

VCJ_Rss_Logo When that first driverless car hits the dealer showroom, the event will represent the culmination of a slow evolution, not an overnight revolution in auto transportation technologies. “Fully autonomous vehicles aren’t going to be ready for at least the next 10 years,” said Quin Garcia, managing director at Palo Alto, California based venture firm AutoTech Ventures. “It’s going to take a series of steps to get there.” But once those cars do arrive, they’ll grow into a huge market, as much as $42 billion by 2025, according to the Boston Consulting Group. To tap that potential, Garcia expects to soon announce the close of his first fund. AutoTech Ventures is raising an initial fund of an undisclosed amount to invest in early-stage transportation-related startups. AutoTech calls itself an associate fund of Harris & Harris Group in New York, which is providing operational support to Garcia and the team, but AutoTech is raising the fund from outside LPs.

The firm will invest in up to 15 companies, with an expected average investment of $2 million. “We’re looking for technologies that can be enablers of the full autonomous vehicle in the long term but in the short term have commercialization potential,” he said…