Israel’s Innoviz secures $4b deal to supply Volkswagen with LiDAR sensors

Kfar Saba-based company to provide VW’s autonomous vehicle unit CARIAD with millions of sensors for self-driving systems

Ricky Ben-David is a Times of Israel editor and reporter

From left: Omer Keilaf, Innoviz CEO and co-founder, Tali Chen, Innoviz CBO, and Oren Buskila, Chief of R&D. (David Garb)
From left: Omer Keilaf, Innoviz CEO and co-founder, Tali Chen, Innoviz CBO, and Oren Buskila, Chief of R&D. (David Garb)

Israel’s Innoviz Technologies, a maker of sensors for self-driving cars, has landed a contract to supply sensors and perception software to Volkswagen in a deal worth about $4 billion, the company said Tuesday.

Under the deal, Innoviz will provide LiDAR technology and software to VW’s autonomous vehicles unit called CARIAD starting in 2025. Innoviz expects to supply between 5-8 million LiDAR units across multiple brands within the Volkswagen Group over an eight-year period, according to CNBC.

CARIAD was set up in 2020 as a software development company within VW tasked with creating “a new automotive experience and increas[ing] the innovation speed of Volkswagen Group to make the car a sustainable, safe and seamlessly-connected mobility companion in a digital world.”

Kfar Saba-based Innoviz makes LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors that it says help automakers improve their vehicles’ safety, perception, connectivity and experience. The sensors provide accurate images of the vehicles’ surroundings through object detection, classification and tracking at long distances. LiDARs are a critical element of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles (AVs).

The company’s products, InnovizOne and InnovizTwo, are specifically designed for use in the automotive industry and for mass production.

InnovizOne will be used by German carmaker BMW for its fully electric iX autonomous car program, in a deal through auto manufacturer and supplier Magna International. Innoviz also has a separate deal with Samsung Electronics’s Harman International Industries to sell Innoviz’s solutions to car manufacturers globally.

Israeli startup Innoviz Technologies has developed 3D LiDAR sensors for self-driving cars. (YouTube screenshot)

In a statement Tuesday, Innoviz CEO and co-founder Omer Keilaf said the company was “thrilled to work with the CARIAD team and be a supplier of LiDAR sensors and perception software to support safe mobility for vehicles launching from the middle of the decade.”

“CARIAD is a leading player in the transformation of the whole automotive space. We are proud to be part of their mission,” he added.

Innoviz completed a SPAC merger with US company Collective Growth Corporation last year, allowing it to list on the Nasdaq. The company’s shares went up 19% following the announced deal with VW.

Innoviz shares start trading on Nasdaq on April 6, 2021, after their SPAC merger was completed. (Courtesy)

Innoviz was founded in 2016 by Keilaf, Oren Rosenzweig, Oren Buskila, and Amit Steinberg.

Before going public last year, the Israeli firm raised more than $250 million from investors including Magna International, Samsung Catalyst Fund, an arm of Samsung Electronics, and SoftBank Ventures in Korea, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks Israel’s tech scene.

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