Volvo’s latest start-up investment brings the promise of future augmented-reality vision to the vehicle’s windshield.
The automaker’s venture capital investment wing, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, has invested in the optical and imaging technology start-up Spectralics.
The Israeli company has a background in aerospace technology development creating imaging and optical infrastructure-spanning materials, hardware and software, enabling a wide variety of advanced optical capabilities.
Chief among Spectralics’ core solutions is the multilayered 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.
Much like the technologies seen in military fighter aircraft, for automotive the technology could create a wide-view “head-up display” that could create a sense of distance as virtual objects are superimposed onto the real-world environment.
Other potential uses of the technology include advanced filters for various applications, in-cabin sensing, blind-proof forward-facing cameras and digital holographic projections.
Spectralics is a product of the MobilityXLab program in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is part of the DRIVE network in Tel Aviv, Israel.
They are both accelerators for promising start-ups with ideas that can break new ground in the mobility sector. Volvo Cars has been a leading partner in both initiatives since 2017.
Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars, says: “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.”