Auto Makers Bet on Augmented Reality Startup

GM Ventures and SAIC Capital, along with South Korean parts-maker Hyundai Mobis and others, invested $50 million into Envisics Inc. The Milton Keynes, U.K.-based startup builds hardware and software that use a vehicle’s windshield to project graphics and information that keys drivers into how the car’s autonomous system sees the road ahead.

The startup’s technology includes a holographic modulator and a processor chip that is installed beneath the dashboard near the instrument cluster that can essentially superimpose information and graphics at multiple depths up to roughly 425 feet ahead of a vehicle, Envisics founder, Chief Executive and Chief Technology Officer Jamieson Christmas said.

As more auto makers introduce self-driving features into cars, the technology is designed in part to help drivers interact with vehicles that are only partially autonomous.