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Baraja accelerates development of sensor technology

17th September 2021

Baraja has raised $40 million in a new funding round to accelerate development of its breakthrough Spectrum–Scan LiDAR technology.

The company’s LiDAR sensors are higher performance and more reliable than legacy LiDAR systems and enable the safe rollout of autonomous vehicles sooner. The latest capital raising includes new strategic investment from Hitachi Construction Machinery.

The company’s strategic investment comes after a two–year partnership to validate Baraja’s Spectrum–Scan sensors in real–world scenarios that prove the technology’s reliability in harsh environments. The investment will support an expanded rollout of the sensor in mining, construction and industrial vehicle use cases, and help road–test the products for future autonomous vehicles.

The new capital will be used to expand Baraja’s team and accelerate the development of LiDAR technology for automotive–grade use in self–driving vehicles. The company has validated the technology in numerous settings through partnerships with Tier 1 suppliers, mining operators and researchers such as Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and Taiwan’s renowned Industrial Technology Research Institute’s (ITRI) intelligent mobility division.

The Spectrum–Scan LiDAR technology gives the company’s partners the ability to instantly adjust and adapt scanning resolution to the changing environment, like how humans can control their visual focus. This leads to better safety by improving obstacle detection for self–driving vehicles in a range of settings.

“Legacy LiDAR systems have been hampered by poor performance with limits on range, resolution and reliability,” Federico Collarte, CEO and co–founder of Baraja, said. “Our Spectrum–Scan LiDAR has proven reliability in the field, which has been recognised by partners such as Hitachi, one of the world’s most innovative machine manufacturers. This latest capital and the partnership with Hitachi will also help us to advance our mission to help make self–driving vehicles an everyday reality.”

“Spectrum–Scan LiDAR is a must–have technology providing better autonomous sensing solutions for mining customers who demand increasingly higher safety and production efficiency,” Hideshi Fukumoto, Vice President, executive officer, and CTO of Hitachi Construction Machinery, said. “Through this investment, Hitachi Construction Machinery will accelerate the improvement of autonomous haulage systems (AHS) and the practical application of remote and autonomous operation of ultra–large hydraulic excavators, as well as expand its application to the civil engineering and construction fields. We will also strengthen our open innovation initiatives in the digital field.”

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