According to a report released by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) earlier in the month, homicides in major American cities rose in 2021, with a 5% increase from 2020 and a 44% increase over 2019.
Now, while these numbers don’t look too optimistic, there are people out there who are trying to do something about it.
And they’re not police officers.
Knightscope, a Mountain View, California-based company founded in 2013 by William Santana Li and Stacy Stephens, wants to “make the United States of America the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone.”
Bold claims — so how do they reckon they’ll achieve this?
By developing a technology stack to predict and prevent crime utilizing autonomous robots, analytics and engagement utilizing a “Hardware + Software + Humans” approach.
Knightscope’s Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) deliver real-time, actionable intelligence anytime and anywhere, giving you and your security team the ability to detect and react faster.
In all, there are four security robots available:
• The K1 ASR, an award-winning, multi-purpose security robot
• The K3 ASR, a fully autonomous security robot for indoor use
• The K5 ASR, a fully autonomous outdoor security robot
• The K7 ASR, a multi-terrain autonomous security robot
To complement the above products, Knightscope provides an autonomous physical presence, gathering data from the environment in real-time, and pushing anomalies to its user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC).
Knightscope’s first crimefighters and Co-Founder is William Santana Li, the company’s CEO. An entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience, he has a broad and deep range of expertise gained from several global assignments in the automotive sector and a number of startups.
At Ford Motor Company, Santana Li held over 12 business and technical positions, focused on 4 continents, cutting across each functional area. These positions ranged from component, systems, and vehicle engineering with Visteon, Mazda, and Lincoln; to business and product strategy on the US youth market, India, and the emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and South America; as well as the financial turnaround of Ford of Europe. In addition, he was on the AMAZON team, which established an all-new modular plant in Brazil. Subsequently, he served as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions.
After internally securing $250 million, Santana Li founded and was COO of GreenLeaf, a Ford subsidiary that became the world’s 2nd largest automotive recycler. Under his leadership, GreenLeaf grew to a 600-employee operation with twenty locations and $150 million in sales. At the age of 28, Santana Li was the youngest senior executive at Ford worldwide.
Santana Li was then recruited by SOFTBANK Venture Capital to establish Model E Corporation as its President and CEO, a new car company where the “Subscribe and Drive” philosophy was first pioneered in California. He subsequently co-founded Build-To-Order Inc. (BTO) as its President and CEO, a new car company based on the direct distribution of build-to-order products. Bill also founded Carbon Motors, and as its Chairman and CEO, focused it on developing the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. He also built a world-class advisory board comprised of senior officials that had worked directly for 3 different U.S. Presidents.
Santana Li earned a BSEE from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.
Fellow Co-Founder and Knightscope’s EVP and Chief Client Officer is Stacy Stephens, a specialist in marketing, sales, law enforcement, automotive, officer safety, risk mitigation, start-ups, branding, business planning, strategy, market research, homeland security, and interoperability.
As far as financial considerations go, Knightscope has raised a total of $77.6 million in funding over an astonishing 24 rounds, proving there are people out with the financial clout who believe the company’s Autonomous Data Machines (ADMs) can predict and prevent crime, making us all safer.
And that future is very much in the hands of businesses like Knightscope.