ADAS and Autonomous Driving Industry Chain Report, 2018-2019– Automotive Lidar
LiDAR Industry Report 2018-2019: Price Slump Conduces to Massive Shipment of LiDAR
In the markets where Chinese companies master core technologies, price of products is bound to plummet. Take IPG for example, its 20W fiber lasers were priced at over RMB150,000 per unit in 2010, compared with current quote at RMB8,800 from the peer -- Shenzhen REEKO Information Technology Co., Ltd.. Maxphotonics Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen JPT Opto-electronics Co., Ltd. are another two rivals in the fiber laser price war.
The similar stories echo in the LiDAR market where price competition pricks up in 2019 as Hu Xiaobo, a founder of Maxphotonics Co., Ltd., ventures into the LiDAR field for a new undertaking.
Yet, front runners still have a big say in the automotive LiDAR market. Velodyne has shipped 30,000 LiDARs worth a whopping $500 million since production. The giant will continue to produce more LiDARs for autonomous driving and short-range ones used in ADAS for detecting road conditions, blind spots and obstacles.
Velodyne’s new factory in San Jose which already becomes operational, can produce as many as 1 million units a year. If acquiring orders for 100,000 units, Velodyne will cut down the price of its VLS 128-channel products to less than $1,000, and that of VLS 32 to roughly $650, let alone $500 for mass-produced 32-channel Velarry solid-state LiDAR and $150 for 8-channel ones.
It is clear that LiDAR price may be 10 times lower than what it is now, and the reduction hinges on how many are demanded.
Start-ups are rushing to deploy automotive LiDAR. Also, leading Tier-1 suppliers like Bosch, Continental, Aptiv, Valeo and Veoneer, are vying with each other in LiDAR research and development, and prepare to launch products in the next two years.
In Valeo’s case, as an early multi-channel LiDAR bulk supplier of OEMs, its product lines from the first generation to the second to the third, reflect the development trend of LiDAR.
Valeo plans to roll out its second-generation LiDAR in 2019, a product offering three times wider vertical field of view. Valeo’s upcoming SCALA Cocoon system combining five SCALA LiDARs, provides a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings. Its third-generation SCALA being developed is a MEMS-based solid-state LiDAR.
Comparing with the previous year, Chinese LiDAR vendors have come a long way in factory construction, mass production, shipment, financing and other aspects.
In 2018, Hesai Tech announced to close Series B funding rounds of RMB250 million, with its automotive LiDAR sales only second to Velodyne’s.
RoboSense raised RMB300 million from investors like Cainiao, SAIC and BAIC. Its shipments of 16/32-channel mechanical LiDARs boomed in 2018. The vendor also acquired a MEMS micromirror firm in the year.
Although the automotive market is “wintering”, the financing story in LiDAR industry still goes on.
In October 2018, Innovusion announced it raised about $30 million in Series A funding, led by NIO Capital and Eight Roads Ventures in China, and F-Prime Capital in the US.
In October 2018, Aeva announced a $45 million Series A funding round.
On October 29, 2018, Quanergy announced to close its Series C funding rounds of tens of millions of dollars.
In November 2018, AEye announced $40 million in Series B funding, led by Taiwania Capital with participation of Intel Capital, etc.
In early 2019, Benewake closed the Series B2 funding round, co-invested by Delta Capital, Keywise Capital and Cathay Capital. The firm also claimed shipments of hundreds of thousands of solid-state LiDARs.
In January 2019, Baraja announced to raise $32 million in a series A round of funding led by Sequoia China and Main Sequence Ventures’ CSIRO Innovation Fund, with participation of Blackbird Ventures.
In March 2019, Innoviz raised over $100 million.
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