AEye secures $16M from Kleiner, others for autonomous vision
AEye Inc, a robotic vision company, announced the close of a $16 million series A venture round from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Airbus Ventures, Intel Capital, Tyche Partners and others. AEye’s vision system “pre-fuses” solid state LiDAR with computer vision, enabling vision intelligence in autonomous vehicles.
AEye’s vision system combines proprietary LiDAR and computer vision with artificial intelligence and customized software to enable a new level of safety for operators and passengers of autonomous or driver-assisted vehicles. The system scans a scene, focusing on its information content rather than data. By having a visual cortex behind the “eyes” of the vehicle that digests information quickly, AEye’s system is designed to improve reliability. At the same time, AEye reports its solid state system, which uses a 1550 nanometer retina-safe laser, reduces bandwidth and improves performance to enable fast control loops through improved perception.
AEye will use its series A funding to commercialize its robotic vision system. The company is currently in early testing with large transportation and heavy industry OEMs, with phased commercial rollouts planned throughout 2017 and 2018.
“We are excited to partner with such reputable firms who share our vision to expedite the delivery of safe, reliable autonomous transportation,” said Luis Dussan, CEO of AEye.
ABI Research forecasts global Mobility as a Service (Maas), which is expected to have a disruptive impact on traditional transportation modes like car ownership, buses, trains, aviation, taxis, and rental cars, will exceed $1 trillion in revenues by 2030. According to BI Intelligence, the automotive sector alone will put 10 million self-driving cars on the road by the year 2020. Intel is forecasting a new MaaS-powered “Passenger Economy” that will be worth $7 trillion by 2050 and save, conservatively, 585,000 lives in the preceding decade.