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Flash LiDAR Company Tetravue Gets $10 Million In Funding

February 21, 2017

TetraVue (Carlsbad, CA) has received $10 million in Series A funding to pursue its intent to bring its ultrahigh-definition solid-state flash lidar to the autonomous car industry. The company says it is also aiming to be the leader in the vision for things (VfT) arena.

The combination of TetraVue's 3D imaging lidar hardware and software achieves ultrahigh-definition resolution at unusually large distances--for example, hundreds of meters at the resolution needed for autonomous vehicles.

The financing is led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Nautilus Venture Partners, and joined by Samsung Catalyst Fund as well as Foxconn.

Impressive imaging

Images taken by a TetraVue LiDAR setup that achieves higher resolution at shorter distances were shown to Laser Focus World editors at SPIE Photonics West 2017 (San Francisco, CA; Feb. 2017). The images, taken at on the order of 10 meters away, were of a fan in its shroud with a wireframe guard on the front of the shroud; the captured data showed, in 3D and in great detail, the insides as well as the outside of the fan and its shroud. The 3D fan image could be rotated on the computer monitor via the software to look at it from varying angles.

TetraVue is currently developing partnerships with car manufacturers, auto artificial-intelligence (AI) software developers, and other hardware makers so that the TetraVue lidar system can be integrated into self-driving vehicles.

As a simple example of the system's potential discerning-at-a-distance utility, Connie Sheng, founding managing director at Nautilus Venture Partners, says, "Imagine a car being able to instantly determine if a black spot is a rock or a plastic bag."