Swedish automotive giant investment arm Volvo Cars Tech has made a $2 million seed investment in Spectralics, an optical and image technology startup. The investment gives Volvo Automobiles early access to Spectralics’ technology, which could help to make cars safer and enhance in-car user experience.
Israel-based Spectralics creates advanced imaging and optical infrastructure coming from a background in aerospace technology development.
One of the company’s core solutions is a multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC), that includes hardware and software, which creates a novel type of thin optical ‘film’ applicable to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes.
When integrated into the windshield or windows of a vehicle, the technology might overlay imagery on the glass. In a windshield set up, the technology might produce a wide field of vision ‘heads-up display’ that can impart a sense of distance by the superimposition of virtual items on the real-world environment for a safe and immersive experience.
Sophisticated filters for a variety of applications, in-cabin sensing, blind-proof front-facing cameras, and digital holographic projections are all potential uses for the technology.
Spectralics is a graduate of the MobilityXLab program in Gothenburg, Sweden, and a member of the Tel-Aviv-based DRIVE network. Both are accelerators for potential startups with disruptive ideas in the mobility sector. Since 2017, Volvo Cars has been a key participant in both accelerators.
“Spectralics is an exciting company with technology that holds truly great promise,” said Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars. “By supporting their development, we can bring forward the potential their products could have in future Volvo cars.”
“We are proud to partner with a progressive technology leader like Volvo Cars,” said Ran Bar-Yosef, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spectralics. “We identify multiple touch-points with Volvo Cars’ vision in the ecosystem and recognise future Volvos as the right fit for new technologies.”
Volvo Cars announced the Volvo Cars Tech Fund in 2018 to invest in high-potential technology start-ups around the world. It invests in advanced technology developments that are reshaping the automotive sector, including artificial intelligence, electrification, and autonomous driving.