Swedish OEM Volvo will examine a unique new optical technology designed to improve vehicle safety and the cabin experience through a tie-up with Israeli-based firm Spectralics. The car maker has invested in the optical and imaging tech startup, which develops a range of solutions including hardware and software, through its venture capital investment arm, the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.
“Spectralics is an exciting company with technology that holds truly great promise. By supporting their development, we can bring forward the potential their products could have in future Volvo cars,” said Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars.
One of its core innovations is a multi-layered thin combiner, which is a new type of thin optics ‘film’ applicable to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes. Integrated into a car’s windshield or windows, the technology could be used to overlay imagery on the glass. In a windshield configuration, the technology could create a wide field of view ‘heads-up display’ that can instill a sense of distance as virtual objects are superimposed onto the real-world environment for a safe and immersive experience. Other potential uses of the technology include advanced filters for various applications, in-cabin sensing, blind-proof front-looking cameras and digital holographic projections.
Ran Bar-Yosef, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spectralics, said, “We are proud to partner with a progressive technology leader like Volvo Cars. We identify multiple touchpoints with Volvo Cars’ vision in the ecosystem and recognize future Volvos as the right fit for new technologies.”
Spectralics is an alumnus of the MobilityXLab program in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is part of the Drive network in Tel-Aviv, Israel, which are both accelerators for promising startups with concepts that could be groundbreaking in the mobility sector. Volvo Cars has been a principal partner in both initiatives since 2017.
“This investment is another result of our successful collaboration with MobilityXlab and Drive, and it deepens our relationship with these innovation partners. Spectralics is a good portfolio fit for us and we believe that their technology has the potential to set a standard for the next generation of displays and cameras,” said Lee Ma, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.