WaveSense has secured $15 million as part of a recent funding round led by technology investors Rhapsody Venture Partners and Impossible Ventures. The news comes on the heels of several significant appointments for WaveSense, including the appointment of former Ford Motor Company Automotive President, Joe Hinrichs, and former General Motors CFO, Charles “Chuck” K. Stevens III to its board of directors, along with Kurt Lehmann, former CTO of Continental, to its advisory board.
Massachusetts-based WaveSense is known for its Ground Positioning Radar (GPR) technology which provides localization capabilities for autonomous vehicles.
Through a proprietary ultra-wideband radar, WaveSense creates a map of subsurface signatures from which self-driving and other ADAS-enabled vehicles can navigate. According to WaveSense, the GPR system can still provide localization even in situations that may cause other vehicle perception technologies to struggle, such as when road or weather conditions have deteriorated or when GPS is limited.
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“Safety is at the heart of the sensor revolution in automotive, and safety is about edge cases,” explained Carsten Boers, Managing Partner at Rhapsody Venture Partners. “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 recognize that.”
WaveSense plans to advance the integration of its centimeter-level precision technology into consumer vehicles in collaboration with some of the world’s largest automakers and suppliers. The company cites a recent AAA study that shows consumers are open to having more ADAS features in their next vehicle.
“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,” said Tarik Bolat, CEO of WaveSense. “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 lane-keeping, 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.”
“This financing helps WaveSense staff up to accelerate our work with leading players in the market,” Boers added. “We look forward to supporting WaveSense as they continue to establish GPR to safeguard and accelerate the autonomous driving experience.”
Other Applications & Use Cases
In addition to automotive, WaveSense serves a number of other industries with its technology: trucking, mining, agriculture, and construction, to name a few.