In less than five years since it was founded, Israeli startup Innoviz has established itself as a company to be taken seriously in the automotive lidar business. While light detection and ranging (Lidar) sensors were originally thought to be a key component of highly automated driving systems, they are now finding a place in lower level partially automated systems and that is the market Innoviz is targeting with its new InnovizTwo sensor.
Innoviz already has an automotive grade sensor called the InnovizOne that will get its first volume production applications with BMW in 2021. The lidar will be used as part of a level 3 conditionally automated system. Level 4 systems that are designed to operate without any need for human supervision or automation are taking longer to mature than anticipated a few years ago. As a result automakers and suppliers are trying to leverage the technology developed for those systems in L2 and L3 systems in order to get some return on their investment. Guidehouse Insights projects sales of nearly 60 million vehicles globally with L2 or L3 capability and a market for nearly 32 million lidar sensors for these applications.
L3 systems are designed to provide hands-free capabilities that don’t require constant supervision within limited domains. The recently passed UNECE regulations for L3 limit operation to speeds below 60 km/h (37 mph) and on limited access highways. In stop and go traffic, a driver could take their eyes off the road and do something else, but as soon as the speed limit is exceeded, they have to take control.