Denso invests in AV startups

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Tier 1 supplier Denso has announced it is investing nearly US$100m over a four-year period in startup companies around the world to broaden its R&D portfolio of technology such as automated driving and connectivity.

In addition to investing in electrification technology, Denso’s investments mainly focus on companies involved in AV and ADAS technology. Denso participated in Ridecell’s Series B funding round for the development of shared mobility, which also includes developing deep learning.

Denso led Dellfer’s initial funding round to help it develop cybersecurity safeguards for CAVs. Finally, Denso invested in Metawave Corporation, which develops in-vehicle radars for AVs.

Tony Cannestra, director of corporate ventures, commented, “Denso has traditionally been self-sufficient with its R&D efforts. About five years ago, we realized that to keep pace with the predicted changes in the automotive industry and consumer demand, we needed to embrace an open innovation model that places equal importance on internal and external technology development in all product areas.”

“Denso used to be all about spark plugs and air-conditioning units, and while those are still important products for us, we are focused on building a strong ecosystem of software, advanced hardware, and other mobility technologies, to quickly and flexibly develop unique solutions that meet the needs of our customers, especially in EVs and autonomous driving.”

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