In a recent press release, automotive supplier Magna and its partner Innoviz announced a deal to supply the BMW Group with solid-state lidar sensors for its upcoming autonomous vehicle production. The contract is one of the first in the industry for production of solid-state lidar at scale.
We last heard from Innoviz in September of 2017, when the company received a $65 million Series B funding to continue development of its solid-state lidar sensors. The company’s sensor, which uses microscopic mirrors to steer emitted laser beams, promises range of 200 m, depth accuracy under 2 cm, and operation in a variety of environmental conditions such as low light, bright sun, and inclement weather. When produced at scale, the company claims they can hit a price of a few hundred dollars per unit.
Though Velodyne has long dominated the automotive lidar market, Innoviz’s closest competitor seems to be Luminar, which produces a similarly small and a comparable small solid-state lidar sensor. Furthermore, the company announced that it has recently begun producing its solid-state lidar sensors at scale. Luminar also has the benefit of backing from Peter Thiel, as well as agreements with Toyota and three other major automakers to use the company’s solid-state lidar sensors in their autonomous test fleets.