US-based start-up WaveSense, the world’s only provider of Ground Positioning Radar (GPR) for precise vehicle localisation has raised $15 million (Rs 111 crore), which was led by technology investors Rhapsody Venture Partners and Impossible Ventures.
The company through a proprietary ultra-wide band radar creates a map of subsurface signatures from which self-driving and other ADAS-enabled vehicles can navigate. Through unique design in hardware, software, and systems, WaveSense says its GPR technology allows vehicles to localise and determine their precise location where current AV technologies, including LiDAR and camera-based systems, fall flat—especially when lane markings are poor, in adverse weather and terrain conditions, and in areas with poor GPS availability.
Carsten Boers, managing partner, Rhapsody Venture Partners said: “Safety is at the heart of the sensor revolution in automotive and safety is about edge cases. Keeping a car in a well-marked lane on a sunny road in Arizona is different than driving through a winter wonderland in Boston. Reliable lane keeping is solved uniquely by GPR and in the last year we have seen leading automakers and suppliers recognise that. This financing helps WaveSense staff up to accelerate our work with leading players in the market. We look forward to supporting WaveSense as they continue to establish GPR to safeguard and accelerate the autonomous driving experience.”
WaveSense plans to advance the integration of their centimetre-level precision technology into consumer vehicles in collaboration with some of the world’s largest automakers and suppliers. The company recently demonstrated centimetre level localisation accuracy and reliability on roads without lane markings, during a snowstorm, in a parking garage, and on unpaved terrain.
Tarik Bolat, CEO, WaveSense said: "By accelerating our product development and work with automakers, we’re changing what is possible in terms of performance and safety for ADAS and autonomous vehicles. With the assistance of this fundraise, WaveSense is laying the foundation for its path to market and is well-positioned to deliver results for hand-free lanekeeping, autonomous valet parking, and other next generation features that will make vehicles safer and higher performing, even in road conditions that current sensors fail in.”
To bring additional industry experience and to advise on sector growth, WaveSense recently announced the addition of former Ford Motor Company Automotive President, Joe Hinrichs, to its Board of Directors as well as former General Motors CFO, Charles ‘Chuck’ K. Stevens III, and Kurt Lehmann, former CTO of Continental, to its advisory board.