Innoviz signed a $4 billion contract
Innoviz, an Israeli company that develops lidar systems for cars, has signed a $4 billion contract with a major car manufacturer. The name of the manufacturer is not disclosed, but it is known that it has a 10% share of the global automotive market.
In addition to the new customer, Innoviz has been working with BMW since 2018. The companies signed a contract worth more than 2 billion dollars.
However, the new deal is considered the largest in the lidar sector, as the Israeli startup managed to conclude contracts, leaving behind 60 competitors.
Innoviz has been on the market since 2016; the startup was founded by former members of the country’s defense forces who worked in the advanced technology division. Investors appreciated the prospects of innovative lidar production, and the company received about $252 million in financing from such well-known corporations as Softbank and China Merchants Capital.
In 2021, Innoviz unveiled a new generation of solid-state lidar products. They are more efficient than previous models. At the same time, their manufacturing cost is 70% lower and they are optimally suited for mass production. In addition, solid-state sensors contain fewer moving parts in the system.
In 2020 Innoviz announced cooperation with Shacman Trucks Corporation, a truck manufacturer from China. The companies are working on a large-scale project to modernize the trucking industry. First of all, the partners’ efforts are focused on the development of autonomous container loaders that will be used for operations in ports.
It should be noted that cooperation with the Chinese manufacturer is strategically important for Innoviz. The main problem of the startup is considered to be the high cost of lidar development, which limits access to the markets of many countries. In addition, the automotive segment in China is characterized by serious competition, and the partnership with its participant opens new opportunities for the Israeli project.
Shacman autonomous trucks are already equipped with the new lidars from Innoviz and are currently being tested at a major Chinese port. The sensors enable the vehicle system to analyze and identify objects in the environment. The lidars send a number of laser signals into space. A map covering an area of 150 meters is built on the basis of the information received from them. A total of about 600 such vehicles are to be produced, which will be able to perform various operations in ports, including unloading and loading containers.
Startup Innoviz is considered a promising project, but so far its production costs exceed its income. The company plans to break even by the end of this year.