NOV 23, 2021

Our newest Tech Fund investment – soon visible on a windshield near you?

We’ve added Spectralics to the list of companies we’ve invested in through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, our very own venture capital investment arm.

Spectralics state-of-the-art imaging and optical infrastructure enables a wide variety of advanced optical capabilities.

Let’s talk about our most recent Tech Fund action: we’re investing in the Israel-based optical and imaging technology start-up Spectralics. With this investment, we secure early access to the company’s innovative technology, which we believe can contribute to safer cars and an improved driving experience for our customers in the future.

With a background in aerospace technology development, Spectralics creates state-of-the-art imaging and optical infrastructure that enables a wide variety of advanced optical capabilities. Among these technologies, there’s one in particular that looks to be a great match with our cars.

The Spectralics multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC) is a new type of thin optics ‘film’ that can be applied to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes, such as a car’s windshield or windows. In a windshield, the technology could be used to overlay imagery on the glass.

As an example, think of the head-up display in one of our Volvo cars today – but instead of being limited to the instrument panel, this technology could make it possible to show it across the entire windshield, creating an immersive experience. A wide-view display like this could also help drivers better appreciate distance as virtual objects are superimposed onto the real-world environment.

“The Spectralics multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC) is a new type of thin optics ‘film’ that can be applied to see-through surfaces of all shapes and sizes, such as a car’s windshield or windows.”

“Spectralics is an exciting company with technology that holds truly great promise,” says Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars. “By supporting their development, we can bring forward the potential their products could have in future Volvo cars.”

Besides a spectacular head-up display like the one described above, other potential uses of the technology include blind-proof front-looking cameras and digital holographic projections.

In our continuous search for promising start-ups with ideas that can break new ground in the mobility sector, we’re a leading partner to the two accelerators MobilityXLab in Gothenburg, Sweden, and DRIVE in Tel Aviv, Israel. Spectralics is a great example of the companies we’re hoping to find through this collaboration.

“This investment is another result of our successful collaboration with MobilityXlab and DRIVE, and it deepens our relationship with these innovation partners,” says 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.”

The Volvo Cars Tech Fund enables us to, at an early stage, invest directly in high-potential technology start-ups that align with our strategic purposes. We’re specifically looking for strategic technology trends transforming the auto industry, such as artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous driving and digital mobility. To date, the Tech Fund has invested in ten start-ups located in the US, the UK, Scandinavia and Israel.

For more information, visit the Volvo Cars Tech Fund website.

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