WayRay, a Swiss company that aims to enable holographic augmented reality (AR) displays in cars, has raised $80 million in a series C round of funding led by Volkswagen-owned German car company Porsche, with participation from Hyundai, Alibaba, China Merchants Capital, Jvckenwood, and Consortium of Sovereign Wealth Funds (JBIC and partners).
Founded out of Zürich in 2012, WayRay develops AR glass that can be used in all manner of industries; however, its focus is largely in the automotive realm.
This is evidenced by the slew of investors coming from the car industry, including previous investor SAIC Motor, in addition to Porsche and Hyundai in this latest round.
Alibaba, meanwhile, is also investing in the automotive sphere through self-driving cars and helping established manufactures such as Ford break into the Chinese market.
While AR functionality can of course be enabled through head-mounted displays, they could obscure a driver’s field of view and aren’t ideal for situations where a driver’s full attention is needed on the road.
Plus, they may be uncomfortable to wear for long distances.