A new startup has raised millions to create cheaper and safer radars for autonomous driving cars.
- Despite the slowdown in autonomous driving technology, a new startup is helping commercialize sensors to make autonomous driving cheaper and safer.
- Two-year-old Spartan Radar said its latest investment round raised $17 million, backed by 8VC, IronGate Capital, Prime Movers Lab, MaC VC, and Microsoft.
- The latest funding round brings the company’s total funding to around $42 million since 2021.
Why it’s important
Many auto companies were racing to create autonomous cars, but after many failures and setbacks, doubt fled the sector leading many companies to pull the plug on autonomous advancements.
Despite the slowdown, a Southern California startup created by ex-defense industry engineers, Spartan Radar, has raised $17 million to commercialize cheaper and safer autonomous vehicle sensors.
Many autonomous car sensors were created to focus on the road while also on trees and other obstacles, but this company’s sensors focus differently. The new sensors focus on the most significant obstacle on the road—other vehicles.
“When you’re driving on a freeway, you’re spending probably 90% of the time looking intently at what’s in front of you because you’re going at a high rate of speed and don’t want someone slamming on the brakes. You’re not staring in your rearview mirror,” says CTO Tyler Rather. “Right now, radar spends an equal amount of time looking all over the place…. That’s inefficient.”
Spartan Radar says when its technology hits the market, it will help lower the sensor costs for self-driving vehicles, but right now, the company is focusing on advanced driver-assist systems.
Deliveries of the company’s software will begin this year with commercial vehicles, and it plans to start supplying its technology for passenger vehicles by 2025.