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TetraVue raises $10m for autonomous vehicle lidar tech

TetraVue has become the latest start-up hoping to enter the autonomous vehicle market after raising $10 million in investment. 

The company is planning to commercialise its ultra-high definition solid-sate flash lidar technology, and is currently developing partnerships with car manufacturers, auto AI software developers, and other hardware makers to get its lidar into autonomous cars.  

According to a recent report by Tratica, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are to reach almost $90 billion in annual revenue by 2025. More specifically, driver assistance is set to represent a €9bn market for photonics by 2020, according to a separate report by Tematys. 

Although the core business of photonics in automotive is – and will remain – exterior lighting, advanced driver assistance systems such as lidar represent the fastest growing segment for photonics in the automotive sector, Tematys said.

TetraVue’s technology can obtain two million or more simultaneous distance measurements at ranges greater than 200m, in any weather conditions, and using ‘orders of magnitude less power than competitor’s technology’ according to the company.

The company's founder, Paul Banks, spent 20 years of his career developing practical applications of laser and optical technology and TetraVue's technology is the result of more than eight years of experimental research. 

‘We see [TetraVue’s] technology as being key to the enhancement and development of the autonomous car industry, which will be the future of transportation as we know it,’ said Luis Llovera, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Venture Capital.  

The financing round was led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Nautilus Venture Partners, and also included Samsung Catalyst Fund and Foxconn.

TetraVue is just one of several photonics start-ups targeting the autonomous vehicle market that have raised significant capital recently. 

In July, Civil Maps raised $6.6 million from investors including Ford to advance its lidar autonomous driving technology; while last October, Israel-based Oryx raised $17 million for its coherent optical radar technology, which the company says is ‘based on nano antennas that receive light waves like radio waves.’

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