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Innoviz Technologies raises $65 million to accelerate its lidar tech for autonomous cars

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Innoviz Technologies, an Israeli startup building solid-state lidar technology for autonomous cars, has raised $65 million in a series B round of funding from Delphi Automotive, Magna International, 360 Capital Partners, Glory Ventures, and Naver, among others.

Founded in 2016, Innoviz is currently developing two lidar products — the InnovizOne, an automotive grade device for advanced autonomous driving stages, which is expected to be available in 2019, and InnovizPro, which will be available in early 2018 for companies looking to test and develop their own autonomous vehicles.

Above: InnovizOne

Lidar, for the uninitiated, is a method of surveying the environment using laser-powered light. For self-driving cars to traverse busy streets at high speeds they must be able to identify and understand the environment around them in order to avoid collisions. This becomes even more challenging when you factor in poor lighting and bad weather.

So any company seeking to bring autonomous vehicles to public roads needs to equip them with high-quality cameras and sensors.

Above: Car with lidar

Innoviz had previously raised around $9 million in equity investment, and with the burgeoning autonomous car industry heating up it’s clear that there is ample interest in the technology.

Having another $65 million in the bank will go some way toward helping Innoviz bring its product to mass production. The company also noted that it will push ahead with plans to “hire aggressively” across engineering, design, and sales, as well as opening new offices.

“As the autonomous driving market matures, Innoviz has clearly established itself among industry leaders not only as the best-in-class lidar solution but also as an integral part of the overall autonomous vehicle stack,” noted Omer Keilaf, cofounder and CEO of Innoviz. “Today’s financing from strategic partners such as Magna and Delphi is further proof that we have moved into the next phase of our growth. With their joint efforts, we will be able to scale more quickly and put autonomous driving technology on the road much faster.”

A number of companies are working on the same kinds of problems as Innoviz. Fellow Israeli startup Oryx recently raised $50 million to develop new lidar for autonomous vehicles, while in the U.S. TetraVue grabbed $10 million from major names such as Samsung and Foxconn to develop its own lidar technology.

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