Ghost in The Machine: A Breakthrough For Crash Prevention

Safely From A To B

Whether or not this startup was inspired by British philosopher Gilbert Ryle’s description of René Descartes’ mind-body dualism, “the ghost in the machine”, Arthur Koestler’s 1967 book of the same name or the title of pop band The Police’s fourth studio album some fourteen years later is open to debate. What is important, nevertheless, is the revolutionary technology we are witnessing today in autonomous mobility definitely has some ghosts in it, and they seem to be more Casper than Woman in Black.

Covered by the Deep Tech Insider just a few short months ago in the post Billion-Dollar Babies #2: 9 Unicorn Startups in The Autonomous Mobility Industry, this sector — the Autonomous vehicles (AVs) industry — is set to disrupt traditional ways of getting from A to B with its promised benefits of fuel efficiency and added safety.

As a consequence, clever and tech-savvy entrepreneurs are locking on to the opportunity by founding startups that can offer customers what they want.

One of them is Ghost Locomotion, a startup building up the revolutionary technology that will finally make self-driving safe, made possible by some fantastic innovation in crash prevention designed to reliably handle any obstacle on the road.

Established in 2017 and based in Mountain View, California, Ghost’s founders are John Hayes and Volkmar Uhlig.

The two believe that

driving shouldn’t be dangerous. Despite all the technology and features of modern cars, cars still crash — accidents and fatalities are going up, not down. We are building an autonomous driving system to handle any obstacle on the road because we believe that cars should not crash, no matter who is behind the wheel. By first eliminating the dangers of driving, we can begin to fully realize the potential of self-driving.


Ghost’s discreet 360° HD vision and computing suite, which beats the traffic and avoids danger day and night, must be doing something right, as it has helped Ghost raise a total of $157 million in funding over four rounds. Ghost’s latest funding, a $100.1-million Series D round led by Sutter Hill Ventures, was raised in January of this year.

The founder and CEO of Ghost is John Hayes, who prior to founding Ghost, founded Pure Storage, taking the company public in 2015. Hayes obtained a BSc in Engineering Systems and Computing from the University of Guelph.

Hayes’ CTO and fellow co-founder of Ghost is Volkmar Uhlig, whose experience includes stints as a Research Staff Member at IBM, founder and CTO of computer software startup HStreaming and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Sutter Hill Ventures. Uhlig has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

“Machine learning is turning the software world upside down, dramatically outperforming decades of work in linear programming and robotics. It will reinvigorate the possibility of real self-driving, changing our everyday lives in the next few years. I’m optimistic.”

 — John Hayes, CEO and co-founder of Ghost

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