Innoviz targets a business model of Direct Tier-1 Supplier

Above: Omer Keilaf, CEO and co-founder of Innoviz

Innoviz Technologies is building a new business model aimed to position itself as a Direct Tier-1 Supplier of its LiDAR InnovizTwo solution for car manufacturers. The company has developed a solid-state LiDAR technology which was selected by BMW for its fully autonomous car program and for its consumer vehicles. The InnovizOne LiDAR product has also been selected by a leading European Tier 1 automotive company for its shuttle program.

“Innoviz successfully completed an extensive, 12-month Tier 1 supplier audit process conducted by one of the largest car makers in the world, said Omer Keilaf, CEO and co-founder of Innoviz. of Innoviz. “Innoviz is now recognized as a direct supplier as part of the final stage of consideration for a nomination for a L2/L3 program. If received, this recognition would mark an important milestone in our progress.”

During the earnings call following Q3 2021 report, Keilaf explained that working as a Tier-1 supplier will keep the company closer to the car manufacturers, bring bigger deals and reduce the total cost of the systems for the car OEMs. The new business model will be flexible one – and will allow car manufacturers to decide themselves weather they prefer Innoviz to be a Tier-1 or a Tier-2 supplier working with their current Tier-1 suppliers.

Innoviz LiDAR sensor
Innoviz LiDAR sensor

Last week NVIDIA completed the integration of Innoviz Perception Platform with NVIDIA’s DRIVE AGX autonomous vehicle development platform. Innoviz’s LiDAR sensor is also integrated with the NVIDIA DRIVE Sim. This move brings the company into the NVIDIA DRIVE ecosystem. According to Keilaf, most of the American and European car companies are working with NVIDIA platform.

lately it was also selected by JueFX for its Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) solution to improve road safety and traffic alerts for autonomous vehicles in China. JueFX will install Innoviz’s high-performance, solid-state LiDAR on smart city infrastructure and leverage its annotated data to monitor traffic in real time and to send alerts to autonomous vehicles.

Mass production is expected to start in 2023. Meanwhile, the revenues for Q3 2021 were $2.1 million. Innoviz management reaffirmed its forward-looking order book guidance of $2.4 billion, representing the cumulative projected future sales of hardware and perception software through 2030. Innoviz currently has 56 prospective customers in the late stages of technical evaluation.

“Nine are in the RFQ or final commercial negotiations stage. They represent more than $3.4 billion in future potential order book volume. Innoviz expects some of these projects to materialize into contractual relationships by mid-2022.”

Innoviz enters Nasdaq with Equity Value of $1.4 Billion

Above: Innoviz’ CEO Omer Keilaf (middle), CBO Oren Rosenzweig (left) and Chief R&D Officer Oren Buskila

Making business with automotive Tier-1 companies is more than providing superb technology – it’s also about financial strenth and stability. This is why Tel aviv-based Innoviz Technologies have dicided to go public. This week it announced a definitive agreement to merge with Collective Growth (NASDAQ: CGRO) to become a public traded company with an estimated equity value of approximately $1.4 billion, that will be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “INVZ”.

Founded in 2016, Innoviz, alongside its mobility tech partner Magna International, was the first to bring a high-end solid-state LiDAR sensor that meets the performance and price requirements of automotive OEMs, robotaxi companies and Tier 1 suppliers. The merger transaction is expected to provide up to $350 million in gross proceeds comprised of Collective Growth’s $150 million of cash held in trust, and $200 million from a fully committed ordinary share PIPE at $10.00 per share, including strategic investments from Magna International, Antara Capital, Phoenix Insurance and other institutional investors.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Innoviz and Collective Growth. It is targeted to close in the first quarter of 2021. Following completion of the transaction, Innoviz will retain its experienced management team. Founder Omer Keilaf will continue to serve as CEO. The Company has grown rapidly, raising $251 million to date and expanding to over 280 employees globally.

InnovizTwo solid-state automotive-grade LiDAR sensor
InnovizTwo solid-state automotive-grade LiDAR sensor

Innoviz’s solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software are built and priced for mass produced consumer autonomous vehicles, a market that accounts for approximately two thirds of the total addressable market for LiDAR in the near term. In addition to Magna International, It has established several partnerships with other world leading Tier-1 automotive suppliers, such as HARMAN, Aptiv and HiRain, which is active in China.

BMW adopts Innoviz LiDAR Sensor

Omer Keilaf, Innoviz CEO said: “Innoviz continues to push the boundaries of LiDAR performance and price. Our engineers, along with our partner Magna International, have been working tirelessly to bring a solution that automakers can adopt at scale and trust to perform safely and reliably. The public listing is a major step on our path to becoming one of the dominant players in the global autonomous driving industry.”

In October 2020, Innoviz had launched InnovizTwo – its next generation of its solid-state automotive-grade LiDAR sensor. The company declined to provide any technical details but said the new sensor provides a major cost reduction design of over 70% compared to InnovizOne, along with significant performance improvement. Samples of InnovizTwo will be available in Q3 2021, with full production expected to begin in 2022.

The first generation LiDAR sensor, InnovizOne, was chosen by BMW (throgh Magna International) for its upcoming autonomous vehicle production platforms. It is expected that it will be installed in BMW’s electric SUV iNEXT, planned to go to the market in late 2021 or in the begininig of 2022. This  905 nm laser wavelength sensor provides detection range of 20cm to 600m with accuracy of 3cm, field of view (HxV) of 73°x20° and frame rate of 10 FPS.

Innoviz Introduced Next Generation LiDAR

Innoviz Technologies announced the launching of InnovizTwo – the next generation of its solid-state automotive-grade LiDAR sensor. The company declined to provide any technical details but said the new sensor provides a major cost reduction design of over 70% compared to InnovizOne, along with significant performance improvement. Samples of InnovizTwo will be available in Q3 2021, with full production expected to begin in 2022.

The first generation LiDAR sensor, InnovizOne, was chosen by BMW for its upcoming autonomous vehicle production platforms. It is expected that it will be installed in BMW’s electric SUV iNEXT, planned to go to the market in late 2021 or in the begininig of 2022. This  905 nm laser wavelength sensor provides detection range of 20cm to 600m with accuracy of 3cm, field of view (HxV) of 73°x20° and frame rate of 10 FPS.

A migration path for Fully Autonomous Vehicle

Omer Keilaf, CEO and co-founder of Innoviz, told Techtime that the rapid cost performance improvement is a result of several improvements made inside the three main chips that runs the sensor: Its MEMS scanner, the ASIC computing unit and the detector of the returning light. “But”, he added, “the importance of InnovizTwo is laying elswhere.

“We know how difficult it is to introduce a fully validated L3 platform to the market. Taking such a big step is possible by only a few car manufacturers. InnovizTwo solves a significant bottleneck in the industry: It will allow more car makers to offer safe L2+, while paving the path to full L3 automation in efficient and safe way.”

In fact, Keilf explains that it is all about a migration path. “To allow a safe and smooth adoption of automation, the industry needs to introduce L2+ functionality – with hardware that supports L3 and L4.

“With more vehicles effectively equipped with advanced sensors, car manufacturers will be able to collect roadway data and release more advanced functions to those same vehicles via over-the-air updates. To pursue this, hardware must fulfill more advanced technical requirements, while also coming under the price point of today’s L2 technology.”

What are L2, L3, L4?

Autonomous level are defined as Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4. Level 2 (L2) means Partial Automation. The vehicle can control both steering and accelerating/decelerating, human supervision is always required. Level 3 (L3) represent High Automation. The vehicle can perform all driving functions under certain circumstances in which no human supervision is required. The driver is required to be able to regain control. L4 (Level 4) is Fully Automated. The vehicle can perform all driving tasks in specific geographical areas without requiring human presence.

Innoviz: $170M Funding Round for Solid-State LiDAR

Innoviz Technologies, from Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel, has closed its Series C funding round with $170 Million secured. This is a much bigger round compare to the company’s expectation of $132M (March 2019). Innoviz provides solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software to enable mass-production of autonomous vehicles, and had been chosen by BMW to supply the LiDAR sensors of its future autonomous car. The brings Innoviz’s total funding to $252 Million.

The announced that the funding will support several key initiatives, including the enhancement of Innoviz’s perception software. This software support the sensors by providing vehicles with a deep understanding of the 3D driving scene, including object detection, classification, segmentation and tracking. In addition, Innoviz has secured two computer vision industry experts, Dr. Raja Giryes and Or Shimshi, to serve as strategic collaborators to the software.

Dr. Raja’s experience includes senior academic and research roles and a doctorate in computer science. Or brings significant private sector experience managing teams and serving in advisory roles for computer vision, deep learning, machine learning and AI with Samsung Semiconductors, Intel, Qualcomm and Citi Bank. Innoviz will also accelerate its path to mass production and commercialization.

The company expects that its InnovizOne automotive-grade LiDAR solution to enter series production in 2021 for global automakers. The company’s high-performance, solid-state LiDAR solution InnovizPro is available now, offering better performance as well as mapping and other applications.