Volkswagen will equip its vehicles with lidars and perception software developed by Innoviz. On August 2, 2022, an Israeli startup announced that it had entered into a partnership with Cariad, a subsidiary of the software maker, to equip all mass-produced vehicles with autonomous driving. With this agreement, covering an estimated $4 billion order book, Innoviz is entering into a great contract.
Innoviz sensors must be installed on Volkswagen vehicles manufactured from 2025. What models the manufacturer does not specify. An Israeli startup founded in January 2016 is working on a lidar, which is a sensor that detects obstacles and calculates their distance by emitting and receiving a light wave emitted by a laser beam. Innoviz is also developing computer vision software for analyzing data collected by lidar.
This type of sensor is mainly used by startups and car manufacturers working on autonomous driving technologies, with the notable exception of Tesla, which intends to develop its software without using these sensors. It looks like Volkswagen has been stepping up its efforts in this area lately. The manufacturer is partnering with Bosch to develop autonomous driving features ranging from SAE level 2 to 3, or even higher if possible. And it announced that it is turning to Qualcomm and its Snapdragon Ride platform to launch its autonomous driving features.
Partnership with other manufacturers
Unlike some of its competitors, Innoviz offers a fixed and less bulky lidar. Therefore, it can be integrated very discreetly into vehicles by being inserted into the radiator grille during their manufacture. The launch also promises high performance in long-range obstacle detection, ground marking discrimination, and object tracking. And its technology is seductive as the Israeli startup entered into a partnership with BMW in April 2018. At the beginning of April, the manufacturer specified that the BMW 7 Series will be equipped with this sensor. In May 2021, Innoviz also announced that it had entered into a contract with another car manufacturer, without revealing the name.
“What really sets Innoviz and this deal apart is that we won the deal as a Tier 1 supplier,” Innoviz CEO Omer Kaylaf told TechCrunch. […] This marks a major shift not only for Innoviz but for the entire automotive industry in how automakers partner with their technology providers.” The Israeli startup has competitors such as Velodyne, Luminar, Innovusion or even equipment supplier Valeo.