AEye’s company founders have backgrounds in the aerospace and defence industries, which is a major part of the lidar firm AEye’s heritage. CFO Bob Brown said that the company follows an Apple-like business model in which it is researching and creating the blueprints of its technology but outsourcing production to contract manufacturers. “We’re not going to build factories… we don’t have to carry all that working capital. We don’t have to put concrete in the ground and build all that stuff ourselves. We’re going to work with people that are already well established in those areas and use those existing value chains.”
From an article in Opto.
“We’re going to be licensing our technology to Continental [CON.DE], and then they’ll actually build and design the actual box that will be sold to the OEM,” Brown said. Continental’s factory is likely to begin production in 2024.
LiDAR, Brown explains, is like the eyes of an autonomous vehicle. It calculates a distance by measuring the time and angles it takes for laser rays to bounce back from objects. AEye has developed the technology based on low-end photons, which are not harmful to human health. Moreover, it reduces blinding from sunlight, which is a bigger problem for cameras.
The company is aware that commercial use of its LiDAR technology is around two years away, and mass adoption may take even longer, but it is increasingly accepted as an imperative part of autonomous vehicles, particularly large ones like trucks. “We’re not expecting huge penetration over the next couple of years. Initially, it’ll start in some of the higher end vehicles, and then it will grow from there.”
LiDAR, as a technology, outstrips cameras and radars in its ability to perceive the depth of field, making it a superior technology for autonomous vehicles. “You can imagine how useful that would be for trucking because these are obviously very large vehicles with long stopping distances. It’s not like your passenger vehicle… [these] vehicles require a lot of time to stop, particularly when they’re loaded.” This is an area that AEye is “particularly well suited to address”, Brown said.
For the complete article on lidar firm AEye CLICK HERE.
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