Series A Investment Will Support R&D, Productization, and Sales
SOMERVILLE, Mass. – NODAR Inc., the leading provider of long-range 3D vision technology, announced today that it has secured $12 million in Series A funding led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from existing investor Rhapsody Venture Partners. The funds will be used for R&D and further productization of NODAR’s core technology, as well as expanded sales and marketing initiatives.
NODAR’s long-range, high-resolution, real-time camera-based software is a crucial safety component in the development of driver-assisted and fully autonomous vehicles, bringing advanced performance at a competitive price point to the mainstream vehicle market. NODAR targets SAE L2+ and L3 passenger vehicle advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as well as L4 trucks and robotaxis. Combined, these markets are projected to reach 250 million vehicles between 2025 and 2030. As an alternative to LiDAR in L2+ and L3 automotive applications, and as the dominant 3D sensor in an L4 sensor fusion environment, NODAR technology has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the industry and save millions of lives.
NODAR’s flagship product, Hammerhead™, leverages advances in processing, computer vision algorithms, and camera technology to produce ultra-precise 3D point clouds from two or more cameras. Uniquely, NODAR’s patented algorithms maintain alignment between cameras mounted independently on the vehicle, offering OEMs flexibility on where to locate the cameras. This auto-calibration capability not only ensures reliable depth measurements despite road and vehicle vibrations but also enables the cameras to be mounted far apart, which improves the range and accuracy of the vision system through wide-baseline triangulation. NODAR’s Hammerhead utilizes “off-the-shelf” automotive-grade cameras and standard compute platforms to deliver ultra-long-range sensing – beyond 1,000 meters – with exceptional precision. With cameras mounted on the roof of a passenger vehicle, NODAR Hammerhead has demonstrated the ability to detect a 10-cm brick at 150 meters. Being able to detect very small objects at long range is an indispensable requirement for any self-driving vehicle operating safely at highway speeds because of the time and distance needed to stop or avoid the object.
“Every AV needs super reliable 3D information to understand its surroundings and make safe decisions”, said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD.; Venture Partner at NEA. “In the passenger vehicle market, price matters, too. At NEA, we have been following dozens of sensor and perception startups, and were amazed at what NODAR has accomplished in software using off-the-shelf cameras and how it has addressed complex industry requirements. We are thrilled to partner with Leaf and the NODAR team as they redefine 3D sensing and perception.”
“At NODAR, we believe Vision Zero is achievable. At the cornerstone of this goal is 3D vision technology, which must serve as the eyes of the vehicle,” says NODAR CEO, Leaf Jiang. “Having spent 13 years developing optical ranging systems and seeing the incredible advances in compute, algorithms, and camera technology, I knew a solution was possible. NODAR Hammerhead is the result of this work and has the potential to become a ubiquitous component in every driver-assisted and self-driving vehicle in the world. We could not be more excited to have NEA along to support this journey.”