Innoviz Announced Operational Realignment

Photo above: Test cars in Innoviz’ lab. Credit: Techtime

Innoviz Technologies announced a strategic realignment of its operations to expand the Company’s cash runway and optimize its path towards cash flow generation. The realignment includes the reduction of the Company’s headcount by approximately 13%, the transition of InnovizOne LiDAR sensor into series production and the concentration of future investments on the InnovizTwo sensor and software platform. In late 2022, Innoviz employed approximately 470 employees. It means it reduces its workforce by 60 jobs.

As a result, Innoviz expects to reduce its 2024 planned cash outlays by $22-24 million on an annualized basis. Cash savings are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024 with run rate savings expected to be achieved by the end of the second quarter of 2024.  Omer Keilaf, Innoviz Co-Founder and CEO, said there is a market capture window that will determine the market share of the LiDAR industry for the next decade.

“Today’s actions are the result of a thoughtful process to optimize the Company’s cost structure, increase our competitive positioning, and extend our cash runway through the expected remainder of the market capture window. Looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our long-term goals and become a market leader in automotive LiDAR.”

Innoviz is a Tier 1 supplier of LiDAR sensors and perception software for the automotive industry and works with partners cross the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The company is traded in NASDAQ in a valuation of $ 282 millions. Its stock price is very low compared with it orinigal valuation of $ 1.4 billion (December 2020), following delays in the adoption of LiDAR technology across the automotive industry.

During CES 2024 last month in Las Vegas, BMW Group brought the new BMW i7 with level 3 autonomous driving capabilities enabled by the InnovizOne LiDAR is now available to order in Germany with deliveries expected to begin March 2024. Volkswagen showd its light commercial vehicle program VW ID. Buzz, utilizing InnovizTwo LiDAR for level 4 autonomous capabilities.

“LiDAR market will be a ‘Winner takes Most'”

Photo above: Omer Keilaf, Innoviz Co-Founder and CEO

The Tier-1 direct supplier of high-performance, automotive grade LiDAR sensors and perception software,  Innoviz Technologies, announced that its Revenues in Q3 2023 were $3.5 million, up 138% compared to revenues of $1.5 million in Q2 2023 and up 297% compared to revenues of $0.9 million in Q3 2022. The increase in revenues was driven by strong growth in InnovizTwo unit sales, which increased 102% sequentially.

Two major programs have moved to high gear during the quarter: BMW began shipping production units of its InnovizOne LiDAR sensor components to its first generation program. “We worked closely with the teams at Magna and BMW to complete testing and lock the final version of the software that will be installed on BMW 7 vehicles in the coming weeks,” said Omer Keilaf, Innoviz Co-Founder and CEO. “While the 7 Series was always planned to be our initial flagship launch for the InnovizOne, our technology was certified on several models and variants within the BMW Group, and our efforts are now shifting towards integration with additional models.”

Autonomous Shuttle with 6 LiDAR Sensors

The other development is a progress in a promising shuttle program with a leading automotive supplier, who had decided to change the platform from a four-LiDAR configuration to a six-LiDAR configuration. Keilaf: “We expect this program to be fully driverless (Level 4) electric vehicle capable of carrying over 20 passengers and the ability to operate 24 hours a day. The earliest applications are likely to be people movers in environments like airports, college campuses, private communities, and corporate campuses.

“This opens it up to urban centers and possibly even suburban environments where it could become a lower cost or much more flexible alternative to legacy public transportation models. In the initial stages, the shuttles can complement existing bus and train transportation systems, possibly linking different modes of transportation together or connecting otherwise uneconomical routes. Over time, it’s not hard to imagine the autonomous routes increasingly dislocating the legacy routes as adoption grows.”

They don’t know how much they don’t know

Keilf said that the BMW 7 program is a milestone for Innoviz and for the entire intustry as well: “It sends a strong signal to other OEMs that we can reach SOP (Start of Production) and hit our goals and milestones. It also differentiates us from our competition: There are a number of other LiDAR companies out there claiming to compete with us in automotive LiDAR space. But some don’t have even a single series production award yet. And some have awards but have yet to execute on SOP-related milestones. From our experience, those who haven’t executed on these milestones don’t even know how much they don’t know at this point.

“We already have BMW and Volkswagen Group as customers, and they collectively represent 15% of global automotive production. If we can secure just one or two more major OEMs as customer and we will have a substantial lead, since we believe the LiDAR market will ultimately be a ‘winner takes most’ industry. There are primarily two or three main platforms that everyone is using, either it’s NVIDIA or Mobileye or Qualcomm. We are very familiar with all of these platforms. Some of our work with these platform players is in order to learn about their hardware accelerators, so we can make use of them as best as possible.”

Newsight and ZKW to develop smart light beams

Above: Newsight and ZKW’s Smart lighting module on a test wehicle

The Israeli startup Newsight Imaging and the Austrian based ZKW Group have completed the development of a new prototype of a car’s smart glare-free high beam that can be integrated directly into the headlamp with its associated sensors and controller. This eliminates the need for a separate front camera. The project, which is currently known as “senseZ” could be ready for series production soon and be manufactured by ZKW.

“The autonomous high beam system can be added to or used to retrofit older vehicle models that do not have a front camera or an infrastructure designed for ADB. It can also be used to upgrade existing adaptive high beam technology with a higher resolution,” said Oliver Schubert, CEO of ZKW Group. The innovation is easy to integrate into the vehicle architecture, because neither the vehicle electronics nor camera data from the vehicle itself are required.

The new system consists of an integrated module for glare-free high beams which is installed in the headlamp. The control signals for the adaptive light are delivered by a light-sensitive sensor that is also integrated into this “senseZ” unit. This allows for intelligent, vehicle-independent control of the high beam that automatically hides other road users at night, actively helping to improve traffic safety. An initial prototype in a test vehicle (Audi A1) will now be used to optimize the unit’s function. “Now, we are taking the next step together through further development and joint commercialization,” says Hannes Scheer, Head of Innovation at ZKW Group.

Newsight Imaging Ltd. ( develops CMOS image sensor chips, providing 3D solutions for high volume markets, replacing more expensive CCD sensors and other camera modules in LiDAR applications for robotics, automotive and more. Headquartered in Wieselburg, Austria, ZKW Group designs and produces complex premium lighting and electronic modules for international automakers such as Audi, BMW, Daimler, VW, Volvo and more.

Aurora Labs Appointed Peter Mertens Chairman of the Board

Tel aviv based Aurora Labs, has appointed the auto industry veteran Dr. Ing. Peter Mertens Chairman of the Board. Peter brings more than 35 years of experience steering auto companies, including Daimler and GM. He also served as Head of R&D at Volvo Cars and most recently CTO and Head of R&D and Design at Audi until 2018 when he retired for health reasons. Since the end of 2019 Mertens is back bringing his expertise to the supervisory boards of mobility companies, including Faurecia, proteanTecs andValens.

Founded in 2016 by the CEO Zohar Fox and the COO Ori Lederman, Aurora Labs has developed a remote software management, diagnostics, and over-the-air (OTA) updates for the automotive and IoT industries. Using machine learning algorithms to analyze risks and changes in the software functionality and behavior, Aurora Labs’ Line-Of-Code Behavior technology improves software quality, safety and security. Until now the company has raised $34m from investors such as LG Technology Ventures, Toyota Group, Porsche SE and Marius Nacht (co-founder of Check Point).

The task of managing automotive software becomes more difficult every year. According to Mckinsey, Software is rapidly reprogrammingthe car industry. The four biggest disruptions in recent years—autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility – all rely heavily on leading-edge software.

“As the landscape shifts, automakers that lack sufficient software capabilities will face major risks, including start-of-production (SOP) delays and budget overruns. Even more troubling, software issues could lead to massive recalls or leave companies vulnerable to customer-safety risks resulting from hacking attacks.”

Aurora Labs raised $23 Million for Automotive Software

Above: Zohar Fox, Aurora Labs’ Co-founder and CEO. “The name of the game is Zero Downtime”

Toyota Group, VW Group and LG Group are looking for new ways to manage their software programs  in a much cost effective and secured manner compared with current methods. For the car manufacturers among them, this issue is urgent. Today’s semi autonomous in-vehicle’s systems are run by complicated multi-million lines software systems, that need to be frequently updated while fully comply with strict standards and regulations such as UNECE WP.29.

They may found a  solution: A combination of embedded software program and a cloud service developed by Aurora Labs from Tel Aviv, that continuously collect actionable data, enabling pre-error detection of line-of-code faults, software error fixes on-the-go and cost-effective OTA updates without downtime for the user. Aurora Labs announced that it has secured $23 million funding from top strategic investors, including LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho, a member of Toyota Group and UL Ventures, the investment arm of the global safety certification company UL.

Line-Of-Code Behavior Technology

This announcement is a follow-up to a recent Porsche SE announcement that Aurora Labs’ technology is entering serial implementation within the next two years. Founded in 2016 by Zohar Fox (CEO) and Ori Lederman (COO), Aurora Labs invented  a new technology called Line-Of-Code Behavior protected by 22 registered patents. It provides remote software management, remote diagnostics and over-the-air software updates to guarantee that devices are always-on and to predict and fix software problems, including cybersecurity attacks.

“As auto manufacturers plan for new regulations and all manufacturers prioritize software in their product development, Aurora Labs becomes a strategic partner,” said Zohar Fox, Aurora Labs’ Co-founder and CEO. But the company plans to gain a foothold in other markets as well. Fox told Techtime that following the raising round, Aurora will enter new markets such as Industry 4.0, Robotics, Smart Metering and Automated Warehouses.

Fox: “Our vision is to enable Self Healing Smart Devices. Any software-based device will be able to detect malfunctions, isolate them, fix them and to perform an automatic recovery process. The systemS will never crash and will always be available. The name of the game is Zero Downtime, and that’s a real game changer.”

BMW-Mercedes Break up is bad news for Intel/Mobileye

Photo above: BMW impression of highway autonomous driving

Less than a year since the German Automotive giants BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG agreed to work together on a joint development program of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems and automated driving, they decided to halt the cooperation and to take different paths. Last week they announced that they are putting their cooperation in automated driving “temporarily on hold”.

Intel/BMW vs Mercedes/NVIDIA

For Intel and Mobileye (owned by Intel) it was a great opportunity: They both have a long and deep cooperation with BMW Group in all aspects of Autonomous Driving, and the agreement could secure their dominant position in the German car industry. “We have systematically further developed our technology and scalable platform with partners like Intel, Mobileye, FCA and Ansys,” said Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW. “Our current technology, with extremely powerful sensors and computing power, puts us in an excellent position.”

But those hopes were short lived: “Digitalization is a major strategic pillar for Mercedes-Benz. To prepare for the future challenges of a rapidly changing environment, we are currently also sounding out other possibilities with partners outside the automotive sector,” said Markus Schäfer, Board Member of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz.

And it turned out that one of these “partners” is NVIDIA – a bitter competitor of Intel and Mobileye. On Tuesday, June 23, they announced a cooperation to create a revolutionary in-vehicle computing system and AI computing infrastructure. Starting in 2024, this will be rolled out across the fleet of next-generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

The new software-defined architecture will be built on the NVIDIA DRIVE platform and will be standard in Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation fleet. But there is a twist: NVIDIA and Mercedes-Benz will jointly develop the AI and automated vehicle applications for SAE level 2 and 3 – far below the ambitious goal of the original BMW/Mercedes coalition.

UVeye to open a manufacturing facility in the United States

The Tel Aviv based UVeye, which develops digital scanning systems for the automotive industry, has begun to set up its operations across the United States. The company announced plans to open sales and business development offices in Ohio and New York in the next four months. Now it is exploring several of possible locations, including Michigan and Texas, for the establishment of a production facility in 2021.

UVeye has its sights set on the automotive aftermarket industry, including auto dealerships, licensed garages, vehicle inspection stations and used car lots. UVeye’s marketing director Yaron Saghiv told Techtime: “This is a large market, and we believe it could generate orders for tens of thousands of systems. This is why we also want to manufacture in the United States.”

UVeye has developed three mobile digital systems that perform scans from multiple angles while driving and automatically diagnose various aspects of the vehicle’s status using computer vision technology. The Artemis system scans the vehicle’s tires from the side and detects abrasion, low tire pressure, tread wear sidewall flaws; the Atlas system performs an overall, 360-degree scan of the vehicle and detects sheet-metal defects and mechanical malfunctions such as oil leaks and brake problems; and the Helios system scans the car’s undercarriage and detects suspicious objects.

The company was founded in 2016 by the CEO Amir Hever and by Ohad Hever. It has already secured strategic collaborations with several international automakers, including Volvo and Toyota, which have also invested in the company. Volvo even installed one of the company’s systems in its manufacturing plant near Gothenburg, for the purpose of identifying manufacturing defects. The Israeli public transport company Kavim also installed a number of UVeye systems in their car parks.