Porsche has invested in technology startup WayRay, which specializes in augmented reality head up displays for automobiles.
The German automaker is now a strategic lead investor in WayRay following the company’s Series C funding round, along with JVCKenwood and Hyundai.
WayRay, which was founded by Russian businessman Vitaly Onomarev, is a leading developer of holographic augmented reality technologies. Its head up display system for cars is significantly smaller than other such systems on the market today and can also project more elaborate and detailed shapes and images. As you can tell from the mock-up images in the gallery, one of the ways Porsche envisions using the system is for driver coaching, displaying a ghost car and a virtual racing line on a racetrack for the driver – just like if they were playing Gran Turismo.
Automakers could also such a system for relaying relevant information to the driver when they are out on public streets as well. For example, it could display red Xes over an area the vehicle shouldn’t enter, such as a one-way street, or green ‘P’ logos overtop of an empty parking space. The technology could also be used on the passenger side of the vehicle to keep them entertained or to display route info and other data in an autonomous car of the future.
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“The WayRay team has unique expertise with a solid background in space engineering, hardware and software development, Porsche deputy chairman Lutz Meschke said. “Their innovative ideas and products have great potential. We are convinced that on this basis we’ll be able to offer our clients customized Porsche solutions. That is why we have made this strategic investment decision.”
WayRay has raised more than $100M in capital since it was founded by Onomarev back in 2012. It currently employs more than 250 workers across its three offices in Russia, China and the USA and plans to open a production site in Germany next year. The company is hoping to boast a $1 billion valuation by 2019 and looks to be well on its way after receiving a cash injection from two of the most forward-thinking automakers in the business in Porsche and Hyundai.
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