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Omer Keilaf, Innoviz talks about LiDAR and autonomous vehicles

Telematics Wire got into a conversation with Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz. Omer talks about LiDAR and autonomous vehicles in the conversation.

OmerKeilaf_InnovizOmer has spent over 15 years driving cutting edge technologies from inception to commercialisation  Before founding Innoviz, Omer led the system and product definition efforts at ConsumerPhysics, building the world’s first handheld molecular sensor for mobile devices. Previous roles include leading the system architecture and engineering teams at bTendo (acquired by ST Micro) and Anobit (acquired by Apple). Omer spent 7 years in the elite technological unit of the Intelligence Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served in leading and critical roles involving large scale technological systems. He holds a BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, all from Tel Aviv University.
TW: How is Innoviz LiDAR different from other LiDARs for automotive, apart from price?
Omer: By providing high performance LiDAR technology at mass market price we enable the mass market adoption of LiDAR technology in autonomous vehicles. Our solid state proprietary design includes no mechanical moving parts and differentiates us from conventional mechanical LiDAR to deliver reliable and durable LiDAR devices. Our proprietary System, MEMS and Detector design, delivers best in class performance: wider field of view with extra long detection range and ultra-fine depth accuracy. Our small footprint design enables full integration into the vehicle driving system. Our aftermarket InnovizPro™ will be available Q1 2018 and our automotive InnovizOne™ LiDAR will be available Q1 2019.
TW: What is driving the price down — volume or production optimisation?

Omer: The latter. Our LiDAR products are designed in a way that requires fewer components, which greatly helps reduce costs. They also leverage the latest innovations to reduce material costs. As volumes increase, we will also be able to drive down the initial introduction price.

TW: What is your vision of usage of LiDAR in automotive sector?

Omer: Most people in the autonomous vehicle industry recognize that LiDAR is essential to the future of the market, but existing solutions are prohibitively expensive, too large, and lack the performance required to get to level 3 – 5 driving. Our mission is to enable the autonomous vehicle revolution by providing the highest performance, lowest cost and most compact LiDAR solutions on the market.

TW: Do you see merging the optical sensor data with LiDAR for analytics?

Omer: Sensor fusion is certainly an essential technology and will consist of fusion between LiDAR, Camera and Radar. It may indeed lead and/or assist in generating stats regarding driving patterns, etc.

TW: Do you think cost will also come down in other segment where LiDAR scanners are used like topography survey or monument documentation, as an outcome of automotive driven investment in LiDARs?

Omer: Yes, absolutely. Autonomous driving is one of the most pressing needs for LiDAR, but as the technology evolves and prices come down, we’ll begin seeing LiDAR appear in a vast array of vertical markets and uses cases.

TW: Your comments on rise of Israeli startups of late in automotive sector. Will there be any increase of tech startups after a recent mega-deal?

Omer: We believe that Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye is just the beginning. There is so much tech innovation happening in Israel overall, and within the automotive sector in particular. I’m not sure that there will necessarily be an increase of tech startups in the region, because there’s already so many of them, but you will definitely see more attention paid to Israeli automotive startups by the rest of the world. Israeli’s love to innovate, and right now there is no greater opportunity to push the boundaries of cutting-edge technology than in the automotive sector.



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