Volvo Cars Invests in Optical, Imaging Tech Startup Spectralics

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Volvo Cars has invested in Israeli optical and imaging technology startup Spectralics through its Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm. The investment gives Volvo Cars access to technology at an early stage of development that the company said could contribute to making cars safer and revolutionize the in-car experience.

Outlets covering Volvo Cars and the transportation sector reported the investment is worth $2 million. It brings the startup’s raised total to $5 million.

With a background in aerospace technology development, Spectralics creates imaging and optical infrastructure spanning materials, as well as hardware and software, enabling a variety of advanced optical capabilities. Solutions from Spectralics include the multilayered thin combiner. The thin optics film can be applied to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes and integrated into a car’s windshield or windows, where it could be used to overlay imagery on the glass.

In a windshield configuration, the technology could create a wife field of view head-up display that can instill a sense of distance as virtual objects are superimposed onto the real-world environment for a safe and immersive experience.

Volvo Cars identified other potential uses for the technology as advanced filters for applications including sensing, blind-proof front-looking cameras, and digital holographic projections.

Spectralics is a spinout of the MobilityXlab accelerator program in Sweden and part of the DRIVE network in Israel (Drive TLV), an innovation center that hosts, grows, and fosters Israeli future mobility startups. Volvo Cars is a partner in both initiatives.

“This investment is another result of our successful collaboration with MobilityXlab and DRIVE, and it deepens our relationship with these innovation partners,” said Lee Ma, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “Spectralics is a good portfolio fit for us and we believe that their technology has the potential to set a standard for the next generation of displays and cameras.”

Published: December 2021
optical materials
Optical materials refer to substances or compounds specifically chosen for their optical properties and used in the fabrication of optical components and systems. These materials are characterized by their ability to interact with light in a controlled manner, enabling applications such as transmission, reflection, refraction, absorption, and emission of light. Optical materials play a crucial role in the design and performance of optical systems across various industries, including...
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