Technology

1. Ground-penetrating Radar

WaveSense’s technology sends an electromagnetic pulse into the ground and uses reflections of underground features to generate a basemap. These radio waves penetrate rain, fog, dust, and snow, and are safe for humans.

2. Detailed Mapping

Ground-penetrating radar measures reflections from objects and changes in soil properties deep in the ground, like pipes, roots, rocks, and dirt. Every inch of road has a unique subterranean composition, which allows WaveSense to build a highly-specific map.

3. PRECISE TRACKING

As a vehicle is driving, online localization occurs. The GPR scans the particles below the ground and an algorithm iteratively narrows in on the car’s exact location in five-dimensional space, based on constantly updated underground maps in WaveSense’s database.


 

See in 4D

Existing autonomous vehicle technologies seek to recreate the perfect human driver by emulating human vision and cognition. But autonomous vehicles can and must become safer than human drivers. Instead of imitating visual human driving, WaveSense’s ground-penetrating radar helps autonomous vehicles see what humans cannot: that which lies below the ground.

Ground-penetrating radar enables a whole new dimension of sight. With the addition of subsurface data to above-ground camera and LIDAR sensor information, self-driving cars now have a complete toolkit to work with when making driving decisions.

Safety is everyone’s #1 priority in the industry. Fusing several independent approaches—from cameras or LIDAR and GPS/INS to GPR—is the best way to ensure robustness, so that no one technology can cause a significant (and deadly) error.


 

Plays well with others

Ground-penetrating radar is not intended as a complete solution on its own. Instead, it has been designed to complement existing autonomous vehicles sensors, like camera, LIDAR, and radar. WaveSense is meant to fill in the gaps of above-ground sensor capability.

While above-ground sensor stack technologies have come a long way, they have struggled to keep vehicles reliably in lane. Driving in snow or bad weather is dangerous and effectively confines self-driving cars to sunny places. Poorly-marked lanes, changing road markers, or confusing tire tracks often require the human driver to intervene.

By adding WaveSense’s ground-penetrating radar to the suite of autonomous vehicle technologies, automakers can ensure a safer, more reliable drive—in any condition, anywhere.


Team

The WaveSense team is a mission-driven group of ambitious and experienced entrepreneurs, engineers, and inventors solving some of the most challenging problems in autonomy. The technical team came out of MIT Lincoln Laboratory where it developed the core GPR technology—working to make sure self-driving vehicles are safe enough to be used by anyone, anywhere.

 

TARIK BOLAT, CEO

Tarik has a passion for building high-performing startups rooted in powerful scientific discovery. Most recently he was the Executive Vice President at Renewable Energy Trust where he helped build one of the leading independent solar and wind power producers in North America. He's also spent time as a venture investor and management consultant. Tarik holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Columbia University.

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BYRON STANLEY, CTO

Byron has been building robots and automating vehicles for over two decades, including several vehicles that were deployed in Afghanistan. As PI of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Localizing Ground Penetrating Radar program, he led the development and testing of the novel commercial ground penetrating radar system.  He holds several technology patents and has won an R&D 100 award as one of the top inventors worldwide. Byron has engineering SM and SB degrees from MIT.


Mission

Make self-driving vehicles safely navigate on any road, in any condition.

Self-driving vehicles will save millions of lives and transform the economy. Before they become mainstream, they need to be able to navigate safely and reliably in all types of road and weather conditions. WaveSense's map enables just that by radically reducing navigation failure rates.

Every road in the world has a unique subsurface signature. WaveSense uses ground penetrating radar to create a map of those subsurface signatures from which self-driving cars can navigate. Vehicles using the WaveSense map are unaffected by common but challenging road conditions like snow, heavy rain, fog, or poor lane markings. Because WaveSense's solution is independent of dynamic environments above the road, it can improve overall navigation by orders of magnitude when combined with existing sensor suites, even in clear conditions.

WaveSense will accelerate the arrival of self-driving vehicles, help save millions of lives, and transform the future of transport.


PARTNERS