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Magna and Innoviz win lidar deal with BMW

27 Apr 2018

Early "serial production" contract for solid-state lidar to enable L4 and L5 self-drive systems for multiple models; BMW to implement in 2021.

Global car parts and systems supplier Magna, based in Aurora, Ontario, and partner Innoviz Technologies, of Kfar Saba, Israel, a developer of lidar remote sensing solutions for self-driving vehicles, have announced that they will be supplying BMW Group with solid-state lidar for a forthcoming autonomous vehicle production platforms.

Magna commented that the contract, one of the first in the auto industry to include solid-state lidar for serial production, reflects its ability to support customers with flexible, scalable solutions and transform innovative technologies into automotive-grade products. Magna said it has demonstrated via its MAX4 system the capability to develop a complete autonomous platform, that it can also support customers by providing building blocks of the overall system as in this case with BMW.

The MAX4 is an integrated, scalable autonomous driving sensing and compute platform that can enable up to Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities in both urban and highway environments. (L4 means “high automation”, in which the automated driving system monitors the driving environment in place of the driver).

Kelei Shen, president of Magna Electronics., commented, “Our strong systems and integration knowledge and complete-vehicle expertise give us the ability to provide scalable solutions for different levels of autonomy.”

Magna’s announcement stated, “This solid-state high-resolution lidar technology generates a 3D point cloud in real time of the vehicle’s surroundings, even in challenging settings such as direct sunlight, varying weather conditions and multi-lidar environments. In addition, the solution provides a complete computer vision software stack and algorithms to turn 3D vision into critical driving insights. The Magna/Innoviz comprehensive sensing solution delivers on critical needs including performance, cost, and compact size.”

’Series production’

Omer Keilaf, cofounder and CEO of Innoviz, commented, “BMW is setting a high standard in autonomous vehicles development. The Innoviz and Magna teams collaborated to meet BMW’s requirements in quality and functional safety. Automakers have been looking for a lidar technology provider to deliver a mass-market solution, and we are proud to see our product coming to series production.”

Innoviz also provided further comments about its technology and how it sees its brand of lidar progressing in the rapidly-growing ADAS sector: “This BMW Deal is the strongest indication yet that solid-state lidar is the winner over mechanical spinning and other types of lidar technology, as it is one of the first design contracts within the automotive industry to feature solid-state lidar.

”Also, this announcement shows that the automotive industry is on track for series production of autonomous vehicles by 2021, with a lidar system to help Levels 3 to 5 autonomous cars perceive their surroundings.”

Innoviz was founded in January 2016 by former members of the elite technological unit of the Israeli Defense Forces with expertise in the fields of electro-optics, computer vision, MEMS design and signal processing. The company is backed partners and investors including Aptiv (Delphi Automotive), Magna International, Samsung Catalyst, SoftBank Ventures Korea, 360 Capital Partners, Glory Ventures, Naver and others.

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