Israeli Start Up Raises $50 Million For Lidar Sensing Technology In Self Driving CarsWritten by admin , August 9th, 2017 // Technology
Israel’s Oryx Vision has just raised $50 million in venture capital for their LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) tech for self-driving automobiles. The round was led by Third Point Ventures and WRV with participation by Union Tech Ventures. They all join existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility, and Trucks VC, a VC firm focused on the future of transportation. The company has raised a total of $67 million to date.
In 2016, Ford and Baidu announced a combined investment of $150 M Velodyne’s LiDAR sensors and that same year start up Quanergy, got $90M in investment for its LiDAR sensors. A research report from Markets and Markets in 2016 put the value of the LiDAR market at $5,204.8 M by 2022, with the highest growth rate starting in 2017 for the next five years.
What’s the importance of LiDAR to self-driving cars? Think of it as the ‘eyes’ of the car that see everything that’s happening around the car – people, debris, animals, signs and traffic signals – and enable safe autonomous driving. LiDAR maps the surroundings of the car in 3D by reflecting multiple laser light pulses and measuring the distances they have traveled, and the time it took to travel. LiDAR uses photodetectors to trace those bundles of light.
Oryx Vision is taking a different approach to LiDAR and using microscopic antennas to detect the light frequencies. The tiny antennas are made of silicon which allows them to put thousands in one sensor which opens up lower cost LiDAR. In a press release, the company said these antennas are more sensitive and resistant to interference from the sun and other LiDARs. They are also capable of producing range and velocity data for every point in its field of view.
“Current Lidar with enough range for applications such as autonomous vehicles involves relatively large and expensive hardware,” Tom Coughlin, IEEE Senior Member. “Making these devices smaller and easier to produce could result in their faster adoption for several emerging markets.”
“The intensity of investments in next generation LiDAR technologies clearly indicates that a big piece of the self-driving puzzle is still missing,” said Rani Wellingstein, CEO, and co-founder, Oryx Vision. “If robots are allowed to drive on open roads, and at high speed, their vision must become much better than what existing solutions can deliver. Oryx’s innovation can close this gap.”