AI-Powered Computer Vision Perception Developer StradVision Closes on $88 Million Series C Funding Round
StradVision, an developer of AI-powered, computer vision perception system for autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), announced today it closed on its latest Series C funding round of $88 million. The latest funding brings StradVision's total funding to $129 million.
Strategic investors in the latest round are leading automotive suppliers ZF Friedrichshafen AG ("ZF") and Aptiv. Other auto industry investors include Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Mobis, LG Electronics and Toyota subsidiary AISIN.
ZF is one of the world's largest automotive component suppliers. As part of its investment, ZF acquired a 6% stake in StradVision.
"We're thrilled to be announcing funding that will allow us to continue to lead and innovate in the ADAS space," StradVision CEO Junhwan Kim said. "We are very grateful for our partners' continued support. This year has been crucial to expanding our North American and global business and their funding will allow us to continue to accelerate in this direction."
Seoul, South Korea-based StradVision was founded in 2014 and is an auto industry pioneer in AI-based vision processing technology. The company says its accelerating the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles by providing automakers with powerful perception technology at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. Stradvision also has an offices in Silicon Valley, Germany and Michigan.
StradVision developed its own computer vision software called "SVNet", which allows vehicles to accurately detect and identify objects, including other vehicles, road lanes, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, road signs and traffic lights. The vision-based perception system works even in harsh weather conditions or poor lighting and can also measure distances of objects and free space around vehicles.
SVNet powers the perception technology for vehicle ADAS and autonomous-capable vehicles to accurately and safely detect and recognize objects. It was the first network to run deep learning-based object detection software on Texas Instruments' "TDA2x" system on a chip (SoC) designed for vehicle ADAS applications.
StrandVision's SVNet software uses deep learning-based perception algorithms that rely on a relatively small amount of physical memory and have low power requirements, which makes its attractive for automakers to add to their vehicles. The software supports a wide variety of hardware platforms and can also be customized and optimized for other automotive safety systems.
StradVison's SVNet software also provides a depth-map solution that the company refers to as "pseudo LiDAR", which replaces traditional laser-based LiDAR sensors, which are costly for automakers to add to their vehicles due to their high performance requirements. The pseudo lidar technology mimics how traditional lidar units scan an environment and has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of adding expensive lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles at scale.
The pseudo lidar technology offers high precision distance measurements of 3D objects using only a single mono-channel camera, according to Stradvision.
Other StradVision products include "SVNet Tools", which removes the need of having a large team spending hundreds of hours manually labeling objects in digital images to train machine learning algorithms. These objects include other vehicles, pedestrians and road signs. SVNet's training suite enables partners to utilize and train their own data, making the process of AI training more streamlined.
StradVision has successfully completed proof-of-concept (PoC) projects and production projects, paving the road to more mass production of its perception technology. The company said it continues to establish partnerships and customers across multiple OEMs and Tier-1s worldwide to deploy SVNet on various vehicle models.
StradVision said it experienced exponential business growth over the past year, including adding a second office in Germany and another in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which serves as its new North American Headquarters. The company says the new Michigan office will help it to better develop new market opportunities in the U.S. auto industry.
In Dec 2021, StradVision announced a collaboration with LG Electronics on the development of an advanced vehicle instrument cluster platform based on augmented reality (AR). The two companies are working closely together on the development of LG Electronics' next-generation augmented reality solutions that offer drivers a higher level of safety.
The augmented reality head-up (AR HUD) instrument cluster projects information such as navigation and various ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) warnings onto the windshield in front of the driver based on data collected in real-time through sensors installed on the vehicle.
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