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Baraja welcomes LiDAR photonics experts to executive team to bolster cutting edge research

Date Announced: 15 Sep 2021

New VP of Engineering and VP of R&D bring industry expertise from Intel and Velodyne.

DETROIT, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Baraja, creator of the breakthrough Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR technology for autonomous vehicles, has expanded its leadership team with photonics and automotive technology veterans Yannick K Lize, as VP of Research & Development, and Pieter Kerstens, as VP of Engineering.

Lize and Kerstens bring decades of experience in silicon photonics and high-tech engineering, respectively, at companies including Intel, Velodyne and JDSU, and will help lead the next phase of research and commercial development of Baraja's Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR platform for automotive integration.

These appointments are the latest in a series of major milestones for Baraja, which include the recent announcement of a partnership with Tier 1 automotive supplier Veoneer to industrialize its LiDAR technology for the next generation of autonomous vehicles, as well as a USD$31 million funding round earlier this year, led by Blackbird Ventures and Hitachi Construction Machinery.

"Yannick and Pieter are both experts in bringing cutting-edge photonics technologies from research to commercial scale quickly and will help further expand our Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR as we enable truly autonomous driving," stated Federico Collarte, CEO and Co-Founder of Baraja. "With their decades of experience in their respective fields of optical tech and LiDAR innovation, Yannick and Pieter will enrich our already outstanding R&D and engineering teams, and I am confident they will play key roles in helping Baraja showcase the future long-range automotive LiDAR."

Lize previously was Vice-President of R&D at some very successful startups. Before that, he served as Intel's Director of Product Development in the Silicon Photonics Product Division, where his team brought to market the company's first silicon photonics products targeted for

data center interconnect. These products took over the segment in a few short years and established Intel as a dominant player in Silicon Photonics. He brings his optical technology expertise to Baraja's growing R&D team in Silicon Valley, where Lize and his team are developing the next generations of Spectrum-ScanTM LiDAR.

"From our initial discussions, I was intrigued, and I wanted to find out more about Baraja's technology. With my background in LiDAR, tunable lasers, and optical components and system R&D, I saw the opportunity to join forces to truly unlock L4 autonomous driving with Baraja's product," said Lize. "Baraja's LiDAR has finally solved problems that the industry has been stuck on for years, and I truly believe that Baraja will become the definition of high performance LiDAR."

Kerstens, previously was VP of Engineering at Velodyne, where he led LiDAR product development for autonomous vehicles, UAVs and other applications. Now with Baraja, Kerstens is at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle movement and will focus on preparing the first LiDAR to enable true L4 autonomous driving technology.

"I have always been excited about the potential for LiDAR, and, now with Baraja, I will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle movement and help present to the world the first LiDAR to enable true L4 autonomous driving technology," stated Kerstens. "Throughout my career, I've always followed my interests and curiosity, and now, I have found a role where all of these amassed experiences can serve something greater."

Baraja's Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR builds upon proven photonics and optical technologies from the telecommunications industry to completely rethink environment scanning for autonomous vehicles. Spectrum-Scan™ sets a new benchmark for autonomous mobility, built to provide unrivalled resolution at an effective range of more than 250 metres on highways, city streets, and heavy industry.

Tested in harsh terrains, from outback mines to arctic tundra, Spectrum-Scan™ solves the problems faced by legacy LiDAR systems, to enable true Level 4 autonomy.

Source: Baraja


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