Image: Metawave

Denso Corporation, Hyundai’s investment division Hyundai Cradle, and Toyota AI Ventures have all taken stakes in the start-up Metawave Corporation, which has raised an additional $10million from these three and other new strategic investors.

Metawave has core technologies for expanding radar detector range, improving recognition performance, and reducing size of radar devices. Denso, which has been developing millimetre-wave radar sensors, says that it will harness Metawave’s technologies to accelerate development of smart automotive radar for autonomous cars.

Hyundai, meanwhile, cites Metawave’s use of adaptive metamaterials – engineered structures with unique electromagnetic properties – and AI in smart radars, and says that it is evaluating the company’s other technologies such as its radar 3D imaging. “Next-generation radar technology can use advanced algorithms for object detection and classification. A new radar system that can increase resolution and accuracy with an AI engine will be a disruptive technology,” said John Suh, VP of Hyundai Cradle, in a statement.

Metawave’s radar platform with imaging, ‘WARLORD’, has just one antenna, which shapes and steers the radar beam. This uses pencil beams, deep learning engines and AI algorithms to recognize objects and create a 4D point cloud, and Metawave says that its simplified architecture and improved system performance lowers costs to both providers and consumers. The company is also developing an antenna platform it calls SABER – Smart Antenna for Beamforming Electromagnetic Radiation – for fixed wireless and the 5G cellular infrastructure.

Metawave CEO Maha Achour said: “With our talented team of mm-wave and metamaterial experts, we were the first to demonstrate Electronically Scanned Metamaterial Array for Autonomous Driving at 77GHz. This technology will be an enabling factor for Hyundai and other auto leaders who are striving to improve the vehicle experience.”

-Farah Alkhalisi