Denso Corporation has taken a stake in Metawave Corporation, a US startup company that develops millimetre-wave radar sensing technologies to detect vehicles and pedestrians.

Metawave announced it had raised an additional $10m from Denso, Toyota AI Ventures, Hyundai Motor Company, and other strategic investors.

Denso will harness Metawave's technologies to accelerate the development of a smart automotive radar system for autonomous cars. Metawave has the core technologies for expanding radar detection range, improving recognition performance and reducing size.

To create a safe future of mobility, Denso has been working to develop sensors that serve as vehicles' 'eyes'. Radar, a critical component found in nearly all autonomous cars, drastically improves the vehicle's ability to recognise nearby conditions and objects.

A millimetre-wave radar sensor detects surrounding conditions using radio waves in the millimetre-wave band. The sensors are used in the radar systems to apply the brakes when a collision is unavoidable, and keep a certain distance from a preceding vehicle when driving. Denso's millimetre-wave radar sensors are used in Toyota's Alphard and Vellfire models, which were released in January 2018, in combination with a vision sensor for recognising vehicles and pedestrians.