PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AEye Inc, a robotic vision pioneer, today 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 advanced vision system is the first to “pre-fuse” solid state LiDAR with computer vision, enabling newfound vision intelligence in autonomous vehicles.
“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. “The biggest bottleneck to the rollout of robotic vision solutions has been the industry’s inability to deliver a world-class perception layer. Quick, accurate, intelligent interpretation of the environment that leverages and extends the human experience is the Holy Grail, and that’s exactly what AEye intends to deliver.”
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 forecasts a new “Passenger Economy” powered by Mobility as a Service will be worth $7 trillion by 2050 and save, conservatively, 585,000 lives in the preceding decade.
The Eyes and Brains of Vehicles
AEye’s advanced 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 intelligently 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 greatly improves reliability. At the same time, AEye’s 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, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is attracting some of the biggest and most innovative players in the automotive, heavy and aerospace industries.
"AEye is a leading-edge innovator, whose robotic vision system is bringing unique capabilities to sense and avoid systems that will help revolutionize transportation," said Thomas d'Halluin, CEO, Airbus Ventures. "We're thrilled to support the team alongside other forward-looking strategic and financial investors, and we can't wait to be a part of AEye's growth as its technology helps drive the future of mobility."
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.
AEye develops advanced vision hardware, software and algorithms that act as the eyes and visual cortex of autonomous vehicles. Since the demonstration of its first solid state LiDAR scanner in 2013, AEye has pioneered breakthroughs in intelligent sensing and perception technology. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and backed by investors including Airbus Ventures, Intel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, R7 Partners, Trucks Venture Capital and Tyche Partners. For more information, please visit www.aeye.ai