Metawave Raises $17 Million to Deliver Smart Automotive Radars

Metawave Corporation 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. The automotive radar market is predicted to exceed $8.9 billion by 2024, according to Global Market Insights.

Metawave is building wireless technology platforms using engineered metamaterials and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop today’s wireless systems and communication infrastructures. The company is initially focusing on providing smart radar platforms, for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. In the near future, Metawave will enable smart antenna platforms for Fixed Wireless and the 5G cellular infrastructure to power dense point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and mesh configurations for backhaul and access networks.

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. Radar, by its nature, operates at a lower frequency, and “sees” long ranges faster. Today's radar lacks resolution and cannot differentiate objects. These systems need multiple antennas (heavy and expensive) and analyze every signal in the digital space, taking time and energy. Today’s Radar lacks efficiency. WARLORD, Metawave’s advanced radar platform, uses just one antenna, and pushes the complexity to analog. With WARLORD, the antenna itself shapes and steers the beam, and recognizes objects quickly in the analog space and leverages AI to learn as the radar sees.

The 5G market will benefit from Metawave’s advanced metamaterials and platform. The interference and limitations in the 4G and 5G market is a global problem. Accommodating 256 antennas per base station is cost prohibitive. Enabling the infrastructure to remain the same, SABER, Metawave’s 5G wireless communications antenna, enables long-range reach to base stations, using a very narrow beam with little interference and precise targeting to mobile devices. Click here for more information.