While autonomous cars are almost certainly the future of personal vehicles, we’re many years away from seeing self-driving vehicles become such a common thing as manually-driven ones, since the automotive industry is contending with a myriad of government regulations and other challenges.
Until then, AR or augmented reality is looking to be the next big thing in automotive tech. And new startups are sprouting like mushrooms everywhere in the world, paving the way for augmented reality driving techs. New technologies such as automatic car park systems and access control systems are adding an advantage.
The Startup Advantage
So, why is it those startups have the biggest chance of success? Well, there are many possible answers to why, including the fact that startups are quicker and less bogged down with the bureaucratic decision-making than bigger corporations. In addition, startups are also more willing to experiment with newer territories, resulting in innovative thinking and ideas and offering essential new solutions.
When applied to the automotive industry, this innovative approach provides startups the chance to incorporate fresh strategies to pave the way and push the market forward.
5 New Startups Developing AR Tech For Cars
Founded in 2013, Ultrahaptics was co-founded by Tom Carter, a PhD research student in University of Bristol, following student research on utilizing ultrasound to simulate touch. This startup claims to be the only organization that allows people to feel and even manipulate virtual objects in the air.
Their tech utilizes ultrasound to project sensations onto hands and has the potential to be used for household appliances, gaming, and multimedia as well in the automotive industry.
In terms of driving, this AR tech allows gesture recognition for in-car controls that frees the user from the limitation of touchscreen interfaces or physical buttons. Their mid-air haptics tech allows you to explore and even manipulate virtual objects or react to tactile cues without preventing natural movements.
In short, Ultrahaptics can make the driving experience far safer by allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road and still maintain intuitive control of audio systems and infotainment.
Woodford Investment Management and IP Group Plc have invested a total of $16.55 million in Ultrahaptics ever since it was founded.
Most AR techs are in favor of an interactive experience for education and entertainment as well in the gaming industry. However, DigiLens, a UK-based startup brings in a twist as it wants augmented reality in tandem with Heads Up Display or HUDs.
With DigiLens, you can have your vehicles fitted with HUDs which offers real-time projections pertaining to intersections, speed limits turns and more. Plus, the startup also develops techs which can be applied to eye wears, motorcycle helmets and more.
Founded in 2016, the Scape Technologies is located in Shoreditch, London and has raised €7 million in seed funding last year.
Like autonomous vehicles, augmented reality headsets and drones become more common, there is a need for them to operate safely alongside people. Thus, it is crucial to understand the physical worlds with more detail than ever.
Therefore, Scape Technologies created a new AR infrastructure, “Vision Engine”, which builds and references 3D maps in the cloud— sidewalks, establishments, parking spaces and even innovative systems such as cars and vehicle entry systems, allowing devices to accurately determine where they are and what is around them with only the use of a camera.
Zerolight was founded in 2014 by Darren Jobling, a former racing videogame developer. This startup provides flagship stores, car dealerships and popup shops a virtual showroom of their own in order to drive sales.
Clients will have an immersive experience of the products and can explore and interact with different cars because of its real-time 3D visualization. They can even take them for a spin with virtual test drives.
This multi-platform digital car configurator has already attracted big clients including Jaguar and Audi and has raised about £916,000 seed funding from Prime Ventures and Northstar Ventures.
5. RAMS Creative Technologies / Yeppar
RAMS Creative Technologies is a Jaipur-based Tech Startup that created Yeppar— India’s first Augmented Reality Mobile Application catering to Real Estate, Print Media, Trainings, Education and Automotive.
Their AR tech helps to enhance the driving experience by displaying virtual data and information including driving controls, map navigation, weather forecast, and upcoming traffic conditions, on the front screen of a car
Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sumitchauhandev/16602029133/