Volkswagen advances toward self-driving cars, selecting an advanced radar manufacturer.
The German company selected a leading manufacturer of high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software. VW selected Innoviz to supply lidar technology, which act as eyes for self-driving vehicles, to continue the development of this fast-moving segment.
Innoviz announced Tuesday that Volkswagen’s software business Cariad selected the Innoviz Two system and perception software for VW’s lidar needs. The Two is Innoviz’s latest generation product. The announcement caused Innoviz stock price to rise more than 19% on Tuesday, landing at $4.78.
“We are thrilled to work with the Cariad team and be a supplier … to support safe mobility for vehicles launching from the middle of the decade,” says Innoviz CEO Omer Keilaf in a news release. “Cariad is a leading player in the transformation of the whole automotive space.”
Cariad is a software company that encompasses all of VW’s software capabilities. It serves the entire group of VW brands including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and others. Cariad was founded in 2000 and has about 5,000 developers, engineers, and designers employed, reports Barron’s.
Lidar is a laser-based radar and a key enabling technology for self-driving cars. It is essentially another set of eyes for a vehicle and can typically see further down the road than traditional radars. Many automakers are opting toward the Lidar technology as they work towards self-driving cars.
In early June, a subsidiary of General Motors called Cruise obtained the first permits for self-driving taxis in San Francisco. Reuters reports that Cruise plans to launch 30 vehicles in the upcoming weeks.
Previously, driverless vehicles were permitted in the city, but a safety driver had to be present. Now, the vehicles can operate without this precaution, though they still have strict regulations limiting speed and location.
Google parent company Alphabet has Waymo, a driverless-taxi service that has been ferrying people around Phoenix, Arizona, since 2018, and has been driving its employees around San Francisco since March of this year, Reuters reports.
Opponents of self-driving vehicles cite safety concerns, arguing that the technology is not yet sufficient to handle certain situations.