A Billerica company is trying to make potholes less annoying
Most people try to avoid potholes. But for one Billerica startup, there might be a fortune in the rough roads that drive motorists crazy.
ClearMotion makes automotive systems that use a combination of hardware and software to anticipate, absorb, and counteract the shocks and vibrations that cars pick up from the road. Interest has been growing quickly in the company’s smart suspensions, which have applications for autonomous vehicles as well as more immediate uses in conventional cars.
The company said Wednesday that it has raised $115 million in new private investment, and it has commissioned a facility in Wilmington to begin producing its technology for use by major automakers.
Shakeel Avadhany, ClearMotion’s founder and chief executive, said the company is setting out to improve the experience of drivers who spend time in the car that is “at best unproductive, at worst nauseating.”
“How do we make that better? By fixing our relationship with the road.”
ClearMotion now has about 215 employees working on its technology, and it has raised a total of $270 million including the latest round of venture investment.
The company describes its products as “doing for motion what noise-cancelling does for noise . . . giving occupants unmatched levels of handling, stability, comfort, and safety.”
The company made a splash last year, when it bought a futuristic, but undercommercialized, system developed by Bose Corp. that could anticipate bumps, sharp turns, and obstacles with limited jostling for passengers.
But ClearMotion has also developed significant new technology in-house. It says it has 10,000 patent claims issued or pending worldwide.
It also has created a system that will help vehicles share information about the contours of specific roads, mapping surface details and uploading them to a common system that can provide information about what’s ahead.