Automakers are always on the lookout for startup companies with something in the pipeline that could help realize a major technological advancement. And the industry has an obvious interest in autonomous driving and self-driving cars. Porsche has seen something in Israeli startup TriEye, announcing Wednesday that it's bought a minority stake in the startup.
Specifically, Porsche detailed the company's impressive development on a a sensor technology for short-wave infrared (SWIR). The technology allows driver-assistance and self-driving systems to "see" more clearly in poor weather conditions. Dust, fog and rain are all elements that may make it harder for an autonomous car to operate and self-driving systems generally have a difficult time operating in anything other than perfect conditions.
What makes TriEye unique is further development on semi-conductor design. Porsche said the patent-pending technology will make it possible to manufacture SWIR HD cameras for far less than what they currently cost. Making technology that could be essential to tomorrow's autonomous driving systems cheaper is always a positive for automakers.
The German company hasn't exactly taken to the driver's seat when it comes to autonomous cars, but parent automaker Volkswagen Group has. VW has consistently worked with partners such as Aurora Innovations. However, VW dissolved that particular partnership as it announced it will on self-driving car technologies.
Porsche's investment comes during a Series A funding round for the startup. Other investors include Intel Capital and Grove Ventures.