Honda invests in 3-D sensor-maker Canesta

SUNNYVALE, CA-According to Canesta, a leading developer of electronic-perception technology, Honda Motor Co.

SUNNYVALE, CA-According to Canesta, a leading developer of electronic-perception technology, Honda Motor Co. has made multiple investments in the company over the past three years-to the tune of more than $5 million-to assist in the development of new automotive-safety applications based upon its 3-D sensor technology.

According to Toshinori Arita, head of Honda Strategic Venturing, a corporate venture arm of Honda Motor Co., Canesta’s sensors, which can be concealed in the bodywork, trim, or cockpit of consumer vehicles, may provide an attractive alternative to other techniques being researched-such as ultrasonics, lidar, and stereoscopic imaging-for a variety of systems, including occupant sensing, parking assistance, pedestrian detection, and collision avoidance. “It provides a comparatively low-cost, chip-based 3-D camera that could serve multiple applications from a single installation,” Arita said.

Canesta’s sensors act like camera chips, but instead of seeing their surroundings in terms of light and darkness and a palette of colors, the devices continuously sense the distance to nearby objects-in any ambient light condition-and provide a stream of 3-D image data that can be further interpreted by the vehicle. Canesta’s electronic perception technology has been in development for more than six years and is covered by more than 17 patents.

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