A UK-based augmented reality (AR) start-up will receive a significant boost to its credibility with its next-generation technology set to make its way into GM’s upcoming Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV.
Back in early October, Hyundai Mobis, General Motors Ventures, SAIC Motors, and Van Tuyl Companies all became shareholders in Envisics, a UK-based start-up designing dynamic holographic technology for augmented reality head-up displays.
Envisics announced the successful completion of an approximate $US50 million series B strategic funding round on October 7, with the funds intended to further accelerate commercialisation of the company’s innovative technology.
“Enhanced in-car experience is the next automotive revolution that goes hand in hand with electrification and the development of autonomous vehicles,” said Dr. Jamieson Christmas, Envisics’ founder and CEO. “Our technology is class leading and is extremely well placed to meet current and future requirements.
“Successfully closing this significant Series-B funding round, especially in light of the challenging business climate, is a pivotal moment for Envisics.
“The addition of these blue-chip automotive companies to our shareholder base, will be instrumental in guiding Envisics to future success as we focus upon the commercialisation of our true holographic technology.”
Amongst the comments from companies involved in the funding round, president of GM Ventures Matt Tsien said that “GM is very impressed with Envisics’ holographic augmented reality-enhanced head-up display technology” .
He said the technology would help GM “revolutionize the in-vehicle experience with a variety of safe, highly integrated and intuitive applications, including applications that will enhance the hands-free driving experience in future EVs, like the Cadillac Lyriq.”
Turns out, Tsien wasn’t just throwing around unfounded compliments, as Envisics has seemingly revealed to Digital Trends that its second-generation version of its augmented reality in-car holographic technology will be available in GM’s Cadillac Lyriq, which is currently set for launch in 2023.
There were no other specifics in regards to GM’s plans to incorporate Envisics technology into its vehicles, nor its integration in other forthcoming vehicles. Currently, the company’s first-generation augmented reality technology is currently available in Jaguar Land Rovers.
The Digital Trends story focused more on the futuristic possibilities of Envisics technology, than any planned specifics.
“The trend in vehicles at the moment is to have larger and larger, higher resolution displays, most of which are touch-enabled in some form or other,” Dr. Jamieson Christmas, speaking to Digital Trends.
“If you’re driving along, and you need to change your radio station or change your heating settings in the car, it basically requires you to look away from the road and carry out quite complex hand-eye coordination in order to interact with that display.
“The longer you look away from the road, the more risky driving becomes. Having the ability to take that distraction away from the driver — to overlay all the information they need upon reality, so that they always have that situational awareness in their peripheral vision — is inherently going to be a good thing.”