Swedish giant Veoneer takes a stake in driverless-car technology developer Baraja

Swedish giant Veoneer takes a stake in driverless-car technology developer Baraja

Baraja co-founder Cibby Pulikkaseril

Swedish-American road safety technology giant Veoneer has firmed up its partnership with Sydney-based Baraja by taking an equity stake in the autonomous vehicle technology provider.

Veoneer has made an undisclosed investment in Baraja five months after selecting the LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology developer from a pool of 70 players globally as its preferred partner to help manufacturers build the next wave of self-driving vehicles.

Baraja says the investment validates its breakthrough Spectrum Scan LiDAR technology, which is still under development and described by the company as setting ‘new benchmarks for precision, range and reliability’.

The investment by Veoneer follows a newly minted advanced development agreement with a major automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The identity of the manufacturer has not been disclosed.

Baraja co-founder and CEO Federico Collarte welcomed Veoneer’s investment in the company as it edges closer to commercialising the technology.

"Veoneer is a true leader in automotive safety and this investment validates the market traction of Baraja's per-point Doppler LiDAR technology,” says Collarte.

Veoneer and Baraja have worked closely together since they teamed up last year to seek out supply agreements with global automotive OEMs for Baraja’s LiDAR technology

Baraja says it is making significant progress in validating its next-generation Spectrum HD25 LiDAR product which has been specifically developed for automotive applications.

The company says its technology, which has been designed to ‘completely rethink how cars see the world around them’, will enable ‘true autonomy’ for vehicles.

“The LiDAR system provides the range, resolution and performance required for safe deployment of autonomous functionalities, without the traditional trade-offs faced by other legacy LiDAR technologies,” says the company.

“Spectrum HD delivers the world's first LiDAR system combining per-point Doppler capability at the hardware level, with a tunable wavelength laser and ‘random modulation continuous wave’ ranging method to deliver unparalleled performance and accuracy at range and speed.”

Veoneer, a global group with $2.5 billion in annual revenue and a 70-year heritage of developing safety and restraint systems for the automotive industry, joins the likes of Blackbird Ventures, the CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures, Hitachi and HESTA as key investors in Baraja.

The investment from Veoneer follows a $40 million Series B funding raise by Baraja early last year, which was led by Blackbird Ventures. 

Baraja was founded in 2016 by Collarte and Cibby Pulikkaseril, both telecommunications engineers who discovered a way to use optical fibre and photonics technology to solve the certain issues with LiDAR technology.

LiDAR is a remote sensing system that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable distances and generate precise 3D information to determine Earth’s physical landscape.

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