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RoboSense claims acceleration in automotive lidar sales

23 Nov 2023

Vendor says it sold 60,000 units in the September quarter - more than double the total for the first half of the year.

The China-based lidar company RoboSense says that it has witnessed a major upturn in demand for its products, thanks to surging demand from automotive companies.

Headquartered in Shenzhen and with an office in Detroit, RoboSense said it sold nearly 60,000 sensor units in the September quarter.

The vast majority of those sensors, around 53,000, have been purchased by vehicle makers for deployment in advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) applications - and this figure alone represented more than the total unit sales recorded by the firm in the first half of the year.

“Following the August milestone of delivering over 20,000 lidar units for ADAS, RoboSense once again set a quarterly record in the industry,” boasted the company.

“This outstanding achievement brings the company's sales for vehicle-mounted lidar close to its total sales volume in 2022 and signifies RoboSense's rapid expansion into mass production of automotive lidar."

Design wins
It means that, as of the end of the September quarter, RoboSense has sold just over 106,000 lidar sensors overall, with ADAS sales accounting for more than 93,000 of that total.

“Both figures surpass the cumulative lidar sales over the past three years, rapidly approaching the 200,000 milestone,” added the firm.

Since the end of September demand appears to have accelerated further, with RoboSense chalking up another three automotive OEM customers, bringing its total number of design wins to 61.

It says that 19 vehicle models featuring the company's lidar sensors are now in mass production, up from 13 as recently as June.

“As the automotive industry continues to develop cutting-edge perception systems to create more intelligent vehicles and meet customer demand for advanced driver assistance systems, RoboSense has experienced rapid growth,” reported the firm.

Boom in demand
The apparent boom in demand appears to corroborate the findings of a recent report from Paris-based analyst company Yole Intelligence, which predicted that RoboSense and compatriot Hesai Technology would lead the market in automotive lidar this year.

For 2022, Yole had ranked Hesai and RoboSense third and fourth places respectively in the passenger car segment, but that was set to change this year thanks to the two firms’ strong domestic links.

“In 2023, Hesai Technology and RoboSense are expected to lead the lidar market for passenger cars, taking the first two places,” predicted Yole, calling it a “big win” for the Chinese players.

Hesai has also highlighted strong demand for its lidar sensors recently, with CEO Yifan “David” Li telling investors last week that the firm now expected to ship some 500,000 lidar units in 2024 - up from 220,000 this year.

Spun out from the Harbin Institute of Technology by CEO Qiu Chunxin back in 2014, RoboSense subsequently raised $45 million in venture funding in 2018, partly from Chinese auto makers in the form of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC).

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