In this past week alone Israeli startup Innoviz Technologies closed a $65 million funding round with backing from Delphi and Magna, two of the world’s top auto-parts makers and Canada’s LeddarTech raised even more, announcing $101 million in new funds from investors led by Osram. In the meantime Velodyne and Luminar are both investing heavily in R&D as well as manufacturing infrastructure.
It’s all part of the fever pitch race to produce low-cost, solid state lidar (in most cases) sensors that will support autonomous vehicle operation some say by next year.
One has to wonder if all of the investment will “bear fruit,” or this a case of too many dollars chasing what will become a consumer electronics market with slim margins?
Relationships with existing parts suppliers will certainly be a plus to developing a whole product strategy. In the end the lidar sensor will have to be part of a navigation system that would seem to require a high level of systems integration.
And what about flash? Some think this holds the best chance of success.
One thing is certain, lidar is going to be as important to the consumer market as GPS.
We’ll keep an eye on all of this so stay tuned.