Porsche Invests in Start-up That Can Help Cars See in Snow.
The company is called TriEye.
It can also see in other poor visibility conditions. Like snow, fog, dust, and rain.
Porsche has just announced a new investment into a startup that is developing new sensor tech. Sensors that can help boost the effectiveness of autonomous driving and driver assistance systems in poor visibility at a lower cost than current solutions.
The company is called TriEye. It was founded in 2017 by Avi Bakal, Omer Kapach and Uriel Levy. The basis for the company is to build on a decade of research into nano-photonics that Professor Levy, who is the company’s CTO, performed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The investment gives Porsche Ventures, the company’s investment arm, a minority stake in the company. TriEye will use the money to help further develop its sensor tech. “Our mission is to save lives and reduce risks of accidents in all weather and lighting conditions”, says Avi Bakal, CEO and Co-founder of TriEye. “The expansion of our Series A round and the addition of Porsche as a strategic investor serves as a further proof that SWIR is a critical component in the necessary sensor fusion solution to enable safer and better advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles.”
So what is the tech we’re talking about? TriEye makes, or is developing, short-wave infrared sensors. SWIR light contains photons that are reflected or absorbed by objects. It gives better contrast, especially in the dark of night. Maybe more importantly, it can also see in other poor visibility conditions. Like snow, fog, dust, and rain. In other words, the things you drive through. That neither your eyes nor conventional cameras can penetrate. It’s not a new tech, but previous SWIR cameras were bulky and far too expensive. More than $20,000 each.
TriEye is working on a SWIR camera that uses a chip like a conventional digital camera. That would bring the price down substantially, making it easier to bring the tech to cars. The cameras are also said to be much smaller than previous SWIR systems, meaning it’s easier to fit them in the car, too. TriEye has said previously it expects to bring the cameras to market next year.
While Porsche didn’t say how much it was investing, TriEye said it would use the money for product development and team growth.