BMW Selects Innoviz for LiDAR & Computer Vision Software on its 2021 Autonomous Vehicles

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【Summary】LIDAR and computer vision startup Innoviz announced that BMW has chosen the company to supply LiDAR for series production of its autonomous vehicles beginning in 2021.

Eric Walz    Apr 26, 2018 4:05 AM PT
BMW Selects Innoviz for LiDAR & Computer Vision Software on its 2021 Autonomous Vehicles

Computer vision and LIDAR startup Innoviz announced that BMW has chosen the company to supply LiDAR for the series production of its autonomous vehicles beginning in 2021.

BMW selected the company's compact solid-state LIDAR unit the InnovizOne for its unique MEMS-based design, as well as for its advanced computer vision capabilities for object detection and classification, which is necessary to support level 3 - 5 autonomous driving.

BMW's deal with Innoviz is one of the first design contracts within the automotive industry to feature solid-state LiDAR, meaning it has no moving parts to wear out for improved reliability that is required for automotive grade applications.

Innoviz has managed to set the bar high in the LiDAR market for performance, safety, reliability and price, setting industry standards for LiDAR integration in series production vehicles.

The automotive industry is on track for series production of autonomous vehicles by 2021, with advanced, automotive-grade LiDAR available to help Levels 3 - 5 autonomous cars "see" their surroundings.

Innoviz claims the InnovizOne delivers superior sensing capabilities, even in challenging environments such as bright direct sunlight, varying weather conditions and multi-LiDAR environments. The InnovizOne offers high angular resolution, high frame rate and an extra long detection range for added vehicle safety.

The compact InnovizOne features an exceptionally small footprint of 60 X 120 X 105 mm and a 250 meter range, allowing automakers to integrate it into the front bumper of a vehicle.


The InnovizOne Solid State LIDAR

One of the challenges for automakers developing self-driving cars is price. LIDAR is an important component in an autonomous driving system. However, traditional rotating LIDAR units found on early self-driving vehicles are very expensive, with prices reaching $75,000 or more, making them impractical for mass production.

The InnovizOne is expected to cost in the hundreds of dollars, depending on volume. Meanwhile, InnovizPro, our stand-alone LiDAR for testing and development of autonomous vehicles, costs in the single-digit thousands of dollars.

Computer Vision Technology

Another important factor in BMW's decision in selecting Innoviz is the company's advanced computer vision capabilities, as we provide a complete computer vision software stack that leverages deep learning and a critical algorithmic layer to turn 3D vision into critical driving information used for autonomous driving.

In addition to manufacturing LIDAR, Innoviz is developing the software layer that uses LiDAR information to enable object detection and classification such as people, cars, trucks, bicycles and lane markings.

Innoviz Computer Vision is a LiDAR point cloud data-based computer vision product that the company developed in order to provide a faster development process of autonomous capabilities. The data collected from Innoviz's LiDAR sensor combined with computer vision can deliver scene perception, calibration, mapping and localization tools.

Innoviz Computer Vision is designed tailored to the Innoviz's unique LIDAR sensor capabilities, therefore it provides an advantage over CV that is applied on other LiDARs. The LiDAR provides different attributes besides the depth information that gives Innoviz's technology an edge over traditional approaches.  

The LiDAR will be integrated into BMW vehicles through Magna's autonomous driving system.

To meet BMW's demand, Innoviz plans to open a second production line in China starting in Q1 2019, allowing for even faster scale.

"BMW is setting the gold standard for safety and reliability in autonomous vehicles, and their vote of confidence in our LiDAR demonstrates how reliable our technology is," said Omer Keilaf, co-founder and CEO of Innoviz. "The team has worked hard in the last year in order to meet all of BMW's requirements, implementing the industrialization, quality and validation plans, and functional safety. We are proud to partner with a market leader like BMW to help enable the autonomous car revolution."

In addition to LIDAR, Innoviz is working on computer vision, HD mapping, SLAM, and more to support an entire autonomous driving stack.

LiDAR technology can also apply to additional market applications in need of advanced sensing technology, such as mapping, fleets and robotaxis, technologies that Waymo and Lyft are working on. Innoviz says its main focus is on the automotive industry, but hasn't ruled out other areas for future development.

Israeli-based Innoviz was founded in early 2016 and backed by US$82 million in funding. Since that time, Innoviz has become one of the first LiDAR providers to deliver a complete product to market.

Innoviz is backed by strategic partners and top-tier investors including Aptive (Delphi), Magna International, Samsung Catalyst, SoftBank Ventures Korea and 360 Capital Partners and others.

Innoviz has offices in Silicon Valley and plans to open additional offices in Germany and Japan in 2018.

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