Passenger Safety Israeli Startup Guardian Optical Technologies Raises Funds from Japanese Investors
The startup raised funds from Mirai Creation Fund which is backed by Toyota Motor Corporation; Toyota has also invested in autonomous vehicles, ride hailers like Uber, and online auto sellers like Droom
Guardian Optical Technologies has received an investment of $3.1 million from Mirai Creation Fund, Goldbell Investments, and TransLink Capital as part of a pre-B round aimed to fuel the growth of the breakthrough in-vehicle sensor platform that helps automakers increase safety and improve the travel experience.
Investors and automakers recognize the importance of the innovative single-sensor vehicle occupancy detection solution that utilizes advanced 2D, 3D, and motion analysis to track passengers and objects anywhere inside a vehicle whether a car is turned on or off. Guardian developed the only optical technology that detects motions as faint as one micro-meter, enabling drivers to be alerted to forgotten objects and occupants, including small children. The technology also has life-saving functionality and in the event of a collision can detect the size of each passenger in the vehicle, and allow airbags to be deployed according to the mass of each person.
“Passenger-aware vehicles are becoming more of a necessity as technology in the automotive sector becomes more advanced,” said Gil Dotan, CEO of Guardian Optical Technologies. “Monitoring the interior of a cabin is a key component to ensuring safety and an optimized experience for passengers.”
Guardian’s cutting-edge technology can potentially customize the travel experience of autonomous cars to automatically set favorite radio stations as well as preferred seat and steering wheel positioning. The advanced system is designed to seamlessly adapt to future progressions in the automotive industry, especially in autonomous vehicles.
The Mirai Creation Fund, funded by 20 companies, including Toyota Motor Corporation, is focused on supporting core technologies of AI, robotics and hydrogen energy and participated in Guardian’s previous series of funding as well. Shuhei Abe, CEO of SPARX Group, the operator of Mirai Creation Fund said, “We are impressed with the strides that Guardian Optical Technologies has already made and have chosen to place additional support behind the company as it fills crucial passenger-focused needs in the evolving automotive technology landscape.”
Goldbell Investments is the global corporate venture arm of Goldbell Group, a Southeast Asian market leader in industrial and commercial fleet management, headquartered in Singapore. Arthur Chua, CEO of Goldbell Group said, “We believe that our investment into Guardian Optical Technologies will help to seamlessly increase passenger safety and convenience for passengers as the automotive industry prepares for the shift to more autonomous cars and fleets.”
SOMPO I Fund is operated by TransLink Capital and funded by Sompo Holdings, Inc., a Japan-headquartered global insurance conglomerate. Koichi Narasaki, Chief Digital Officer of Sompo Holdings said: “As companies adapt to a new approach to the automotive sphere we are excited to be joining Guardian Optical Technologies in revolutionizing the passenger experience for today’s car as well as the autonomous car of tomorrow.”
Guardian Optical Technologies is dedicated to enabling “passenger aware” cars with cutting-edge sensor technology that makes cars safer and more convenient. Just one sensor combined with advanced 2D, 3D, and motion analysis protects drivers and passengers by constantly scanning and tracking occupants and objects anywhere in the vehicle. These technologies work with a car’s seatbelts and airbags to sound immediate alerts.
The system deploys machine-learning, including image analysis on the sensor’s video feed, as well as “big data” analysis. Committed to providing high value to auto makers today, Guardian Optical Technologies designed its system to effortlessly support future advances in the auto industry, particularly autonomous vehicles. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, the tech start-up was founded in 2014.
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