Hyundai CRADLE, Hyundai Motor Company’s corporate venturing and open innovation business is investing in Metawave Corporation to build intelligent radars for autonomous vehicles. Hyundai is closely evaluating new technologies, such as Metawave’s high-performance radar capable of 3-D imaging, for future autonomous platforms.
Three sensors are the fundamental components of the perception system for self-driving cars today: camera, LiDAR and radar. The camera is the highest-resolution sensor but cannot see objects beyond 50 meters. LiDAR extends the range to about 150 meters, with a fairly high-resolution imaging capability. Both camera and LiDAR are affected by bad weather and dirty roads. Radar, by its nature, operates at a lower frequency and “sees” objects at long ranges faster and in all weather and driving conditions.
Today’s radar cannot cover wide angles at long ranges and lacks the resolution to differentiate between objects. It needs a large number of antennae and expensive chips to run the complex digital signals. This type of system takes time and energy, making it inefficient. Metawave’s advanced radar platform, WARLORD uses just one antenna and pushes the complexity of the analog space, using ultra-fast and precise responses. With WARLORD, the antenna itself shapes and steers the beam in all directions using pencil beams, deep learning engines and AI algorithms to recognize objects quickly and send 4-D point cloud to the sensor fusion.
By precise shaping and steering of radio frequency (RF) beams, augmented by its AI engine, the radar can recognize, classify, and track road objects at long ranges, while operating in all-weather conditions.
Metawave has raised an additional $10 million from strategic and financial investors for the development of a smart automotive radar system. The additional $10 million brings the total of Metawave’s investor funding to $17 million. This new funding round added five new strategic investors, including global automotive supplier, DENSO, who led the round, Toyota AI Ventures, Hyundai Motor Company and Asahi Glass. Participating original investors include Motus Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Autotech Ventures, Bold Capital, SAIC Capital, Western Technology Investment (WTI), and Alrai Capital.
Source: Hyundai Cradle