SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Zadar Labs Inc., a new venture developing high-resolution, low-cost imaging radars for autonomous systems, announced today that the company has raised $5.6M in seed funding led by Tim Kentley Klay, founder of autonomous vehicle companies Zoox (acquired by Amazon) and HYPR. Other investors include Leslie Ventures, Jeff Rothschild, Plug and Play, and Mentors Fund.
While autonomous systems rely on a range of sensors, imaging radar stands apart because of its ability to outperform on a multitude of tasks in a broad range of conditions. Zadar's solid-state imaging radar is weather invariant, power-efficient, has range returns out to hundreds of meters, performs doppler measurements, and can be packaged behind facias (eliminating the need for optical cleaning). With Zadar's breakthrough signal processing algorithms, proprietary AI image processing techniques, and in-house antenna design, their platforms can perform in the horizontal and vertical domains with sub-degree resolution.
Though the company is only releasing samples for evaluation, Zadar has already made impressive progress in reducing the cost of advanced radar. Production units are expected in the low hundreds of dollars with continued reductions as volumes increase. This price efficiency is essential to scaling robotic technologies such as autonomous driving into the mainstream.
Zadar has already released their mid-range sensor, zSIGNAL, reaching 250 meter range. The sensor is currently under evaluation by several customers in the autonomous vehicle space. Zadar is looking to further support customers in 2021 through the launch of their long-range sensor, zPRIME. The new platform will be capable of 400 meter range with resolution comparable to LiDAR.
Zadar was founded in 2019 by a pair of autonomous vehicle veterans, Mahmoud Saadat and Mo Emadi, after the two met while working at Lyft Level 5, the ride-share company's autonomous division. CEO Saadat is a Zoox alum as well as Stanford Engineering PhD. CTO Emadi is a leader in the radar industry and led many top projects at Qualcomm before joining Lyft.
"This investment allows us to further build our team and quickly deliver our solution," says Saadat. "We feel fortunate to work with a phenomenal group of investors who believe in our mission to make autonomous systems perceive the world with vastly superior performance."
"Vision with imaging radar is the winning combination for scalable, robust and low-cost autonomous sensing," says Tim Kentley Klay. "I am excited to back the impressive team at Zadar - already moving fast, their products are what the market has been asking for. Zadar has a bright future indeed."
About Zadar Labs
Zadar Labs is developing next generation imaging radar platforms. Our vision is to empower perception systems with compact, high performance, and low-cost imaging radar. We don't just build black boxes, we collaborate with our partners to build the optimal solution for their application. We see a future where every system that perceives the world, does so better with a Zadar radar.