Lunewave, an Arizona-based startup focused on building new sensor technology for autonomous vehicles, has received $5 million in backing from Fraser McCombs Capital, BMW i Ventures, Baidu Ventures, and other investors.
The investment will help accelerate the development of radar and antenna technology for autonomous vehicles as well as other applications including 5G wireless networks and the aerospace industry.
However, the initial market for Lunewave's new technology will be autonomous cars.
Founded in 2017 with ties to the University of Arizona, Lunwewave is developing what it describes as disruptive technology. Experts in millimeter wave frequency engineering lead the company.
Specifically, Lunewave manufactures specialized Luneburg lens antennae and radar sensors that can act as the "eyes" of self-driving cars. The spherical sensors provide a 360-degree field of view and can detect objects surrounding a car with high resolution — even at long range and in poor weather, according to the company. These capabilities are typically only achievable with the use of multiple sensors,
Lunewave is aiming to offer automakers an affordable, powerful alternative to conventional sonar systems that can help accelerate the deployment of self-driving cars.
"We're excited to support the Lunewave team in their mission to revolutionize sensing," said Mark Norman, managing partner at the venture capital firm. "We believe Lunewave is building game-changing radar to transform automotive sensing for ADAS and autonomous applications in all weather conditions."