Oryx Vision Receives $50 Million for Autonomous Vehicle Lidar - 13/09/2017

Oryx Vision, an Israeli-based startup developing sensors for autonomous cars, has received a $50M investment led by Third Point Ventures and WRV, and joined by Union Tech Ventures, and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC.

The company is trying to achieve the depth vision performance required for true autonomous driving through a new simple and robust low-cost lidar sensor that uses nano antennas.

While traditional lidar detects light with photoelectric sensors, “basically measuring the energy of the light,” according to CEO Rani Wellingstein, these silicon-made microscopic antennas detect light wave frequencies. The system has increased sensitivity and range (150 metres), and produces both velocity and range data for every point in its field of view. The antennas also operate at a 10-micron wavelength that can see through fog and will not get blinded by bright sunlight.

To fulfill its low-cost objective, Oryx’s lidar sensor uses an imager that costs about the same as a camera in a mobile phone, and its antennas are less expensive than current lidar systems. The system also uses very simple optics with no steering, no rotating elements and no optical rays to account for.

“Oryx has validated much of the promise we’ve identified in it when we first invested in the company. They are best placed to meet the challenge and we welcome the new investors who share our belief”, said Adam Fisher of Bessemer Venture Partners.

Last year, Oryx received a $17M investment, which brings the company to a total of $67M in funding. It will use the new funds to accelerate its development activities and to intensify its commercial engagements with car OEMs, tier-1 supplier and technology players.

“Oryx is building the first solution that will meet all the key requirements of automotive lidars – high performance, car durability, and low price – without a trade off,” says Wellingstein. “We are delighted to receive a vote of confidence in our vision and to have the resources to bring this technology to market quickly and at the highest quality”.

The company expects to ship units for car-mounted testing in the second half of 2018.

Last updated: 19/06/2018