500 million francs of new money for Swiss startups
Through the holographic technology from WayRay, information is displayed for drivers directly on the car windscreen. Unlike with conventional head-up displays, the information is projected onto the windscreen in such a way that for the driver it looks as though the information was projected directly onto the surrounding area. Alibaba, Porsche, and Hyundai recognised the potential of WayRay and got on board as major investors.
Driving safety information projected directly onto the roadway
The startup, WayRay, with headquarters in Zurich develops entertainment and navigation systems for cars. Instead of projecting the information on conventional screens, however, with WayRay the information is projected onto the windscreen as a holographic, such that it appears for the driver of the vehicle as though the information was projected directly onto the surrounding area, for example, in the form route markers. At junctions, arrows are displayed directly onto the roadway. As a result, it is not necessary to look away from the road to the centre console, which increases safety while driving. According to their own information, the company has a technological advantage over their competition. Thin films that were developed in-house, which are integrated into the windscreen by vehicle manufacturers, are used as a holographic medium. The images projected on it are also produced with their own software on very efficient hardware that they likewise developed.
Alibaba, Porsche, and Hyundai as major investors
WayRay currently employs roughly 250 employees worldwide. In addition to its headquarters in Zurich, WayRay has offices in San Francisco, Moscow, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. A technology centre is set to open soon in Schaffhausen and a production centre is being planned in South Germany due to the proximity to the large vehicle manufacturers. Financing is secured, for WayRay was already able to convince various investors of its technology – in addition to Porsche and Hyundai, the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, also got on board with the Zurich-based startup as a major investor. The Italian design team, Pininfarina, also announced their partnership with WayRay at the Genf Car Show. The first cars with the holographic technology will likewise soon be introduced as various manufacturers are currently testing the technology in their test vehicles. Starting in 2020, WayRay also wants to introduce a retrofit solution to the market. The Swiss startup wants to completely change driving with its technology and is already looking at the age of self-driving vehicles. The driving safety information would then decrease for the driver, thus providing more space for apps and other content. WayRay perceives itself as a future marketplace, on which AR apps and content can be sold. The range of information that could be displayed in this way is huge – from film advertising to information about the surroundings one is currently driving through.
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