Innoviz Launches Solid State Lidar With 150-Meter Range

In many ways the march toward driverless cars is in lockstep with the march toward improved Lidar sensors.

The industry leader, Velodyne — the same company that pioneered Lidar in autonomous vehicles — continues to raise the bar. The company recently unveiled a new sensor with 128 laser channels and halved the price for its most popular sensor.

But there are plenty of other outfits out there trying to chase Velodyne down.

Lidar startup Ouster recently emerged from stealth mode with $27 million in funding and a high-performance sensor that it touts as lightweight and affordable. TetraVue raised $10 million earlier this year on the strength of its flash Lidar, which the company believes outperforms traditional Lidar. Even Apple has been looking for ways to optimize the technology’s performance.

One of the biggest challenges to Velodyne’s Lidar supremacy is Innoviz.

Founded in 2016, the Israeli company quickly rose to prominence with solid-state Lidar offerings known for performance, reliability and affordability. After an initial announcement in May of last year, Innoviz recently released its long-awaited InnovizPro.

Solid-state Lidar is widely viewed as the future of the sensor technology.

Integrating all of the Lidar functionality into a single microchip eliminates the mechanical parts which are prone to failure. Since one of the biggest concerns with all Lidar sensors is their price, autonomous vehicle developers aren’t going to want to invest in one that could break down faster. By creating a reliable solid-state sensor and cutting the cost, Innoviz co-founder and CEO Omar Keilaf believes he has a solution the market will love.

“InnovizPro provides immediate accessibility to our advanced Lidar technology and marks a giant leap forward for the entire autonomous vehicle market,” Keilaf noted in a statement. “We are addressing a major need for high-resolution scanning technology at lower cost, with no minimum order required.”

In November, it was announced that the InnovizPro had received the CES 2018 Innovation Award for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology. The company accepted the award in Las Vegas at CES 2018 in January. According to CES, InnovizPro’s honor means it met “the highest standards for outstanding product design and engineering as judged by a panel of highly respected experts in their field.”

The award comes on the heels of news that Aptiv (previously Delphi Automotive) and Magna International had established separate partnerships to utilize Innoviz’s sensor technology.

In October, Innoviz closed a $73 million Series B funding round that included major contributions from Aptiv and Magna.

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