We forgot about Renovo until this week. You might remember the Silicon Valley-based startup for the all-electric coupe it was developing a few years back or more recently for the stunt they pulled with Stanford University where they converted a DeLorean with an electric powertrain and did autonomous donuts with it.
The company appears to have shifted to a focus on autonomous driving and they have now obtained a self-driving test permit in California.
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Renovo has been going under the radar for the past 2 years. It first looked like they were going to try to commercialize their Corvette-looking all-electric supercar, but they seem to have given up on that.
But they are still around with reportedly strong backing from deep-pocket VC firm True Ventures.
They changed the name from ‘Renovo Motors’ to ‘Renevo Auto’ and made a shift from just developing an EV to a self-driving platform. They wrote on their new website:
“At Renovo, our mission is to drive the expansion of AMoD (Automated Mobility on Demand) to the greatest scale and highest efficiency, deploying our technology across vehicles, fleets, and the cloud. “
Electrek has learned that they became the latest company to obtain a permit to test autonomous driving with California’s DMV.
Renovo was founded by Christopher Heiser, an experienced product manager, and Jason Stinson, a longtime engineer at Intel, in 2010. Again, the company went dark in 2015 after the DeLorean stunt, but they have kept going behind the scene and made some significant hires.
15-year Apple veteran Stan Jirman is now Vice President of Engineering at Renovo. Former Tula executive Paul Liu is now Director of Automotive Architecture at the startup. Renovo also has a significant roster of recent graduates working on its new platform and they have increased their hiring effort in the past few months with new executives and engineers joining just in the past few weeks, according to a LinkedIn research.
It looks like they could soon be ready to step out of stealth for a second time.
The number of players in the self-driving field just keep growing. In California alone, there are 26 companies with permits to test autonomous vehicles. While Renovo is not the youngest company considering it was founded 7 years ago, it’s the one that obtained the permit the most recently. On March 6 to be precise.