Source: Owl Autonomous Imaging announcement

SAN FRANCISCO — Owl Autonomous Imaging (Owl AI), a developer of patented monocular 3D thermal imaging and ranging solutions for automotive active safety systems, announced $15 million in Series A funding led by State Farm Ventures®. Additional participation in the round included Excell Partners, Luminate NY Accelerator, Empire State Development, MHNW Consortium, Dr. Sanjay Jha, (former CEO of both GlobalFoundries and Motorola Mobility), as well as others.

The foundation of Owl’s patented technology is an adaptation of a thermal ranging solution developed under a challenge grant from the U.S. Air Force to track missiles in flight traveling at more than 1,000 miles per hour. The solution to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) requires redundancy and diversity, maximized across a 3D image map. Owl has developed a patented 3D Thermal Ranging™ camera, the world’s only solid-state camera delivering HD thermal video with high precision ranging for safe autonomous vehicle operation.

“Of the 1.35-million people killed worldwide in car accidents every year, more than half were outside of the vehicle (pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists),” said Owl CEO Chuck Gershman. “At Owl, we are all about safety, especially pedestrian safety, Owl’s 3D thermal ranging solutions enable the identification of pedestrians, animals, and cyclists far sooner than any other system on the road today, and we do it day or night, and in foul weather.  Simply stated, we save lives; we save lots of lives.”

The current de-facto ADAS sensor suites typically comprise mutually dependent visible-light cameras and radar, but when one of these sensors becomes ineffective, so too does the entire sensor suite. This scenario happens often, especially when it comes to pedestrians, cyclists, and animals at night or in inclement weather.

Owl has created a new modality known as monocular 3D thermal ranging that dramatically improves pedestrian safety.  The system is based on specialty HD thermal imaging and innovative computer vision algorithms.  Operating in the thermal spectrum these algorithms exploit angular, temporal and intensity data to produce ultra-dense point clouds and highly refined object classification.

“Preventing car accidents of any kind is of critical concern,” said Michael Remmes, Vice President, State Farm Ventures, “Owl’s technology is a potential compelling advancement in active safety detection and avoidance of collisions.  We are excited to support Owl’s efforts to bring these advancements to the automotive community.”

“Luminate Accelerator is excited to support Class of 2021 Owl Autonomous Imaging. Harnessing integrated photonics, Owl represents the future of transportation,” said Sujatha Ramanujan, Managing Director, Luminate Accelerator.

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.