PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AEye Inc, a robotic vision pioneer, today announced it has expanded its executive team to accelerate development and deployment of its “pre-fused” solid state LiDAR and computer vision systems for autonomous vehicles. This follows the company’s recent $16 million series A funding announcement from Kleiner Perkins, Airbus Ventures, Intel Capital and others. The new hires include renowned defense scientist Dr. Allan Steinhardt as chief engineer, semiconductor industry veteran John Stockton as VP of product, and accomplished business strategist Blair LaCorte as chief of staff. The executives round out a seasoned management team with deep technical experience developing complex and reliable software-enabling electro-optic solutions for military and civilian deployments.
“We are thrilled to bring on Allan, John and Blair, each of whom are leaders in their respective fields,” said Luis Dussan, CEO of AEye. “These executives’ credentials and expertise will be invaluable to AEye’s growth and development as the company looks to lead the charge in delivering truly intelligent vision systems that advance vehicle autonomy.”
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 scans a scene, intelligently focusing on information content. 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.
New Hires Round Out Seasoned Team
As chief engineer, Dr. Allan Steinhardt will help lead AEye’s technical innovation, developing the company’s core competencies as it seeks to accelerate the arrival of safe and reliable autonomous vehicles. Dr. Steinhardt formerly served as a chief scientist at DARPA, where he conducted leading-edge work on space, land, and naval-based electronic warfare, sensor, and radar systems. He previously served as a vice president and chief scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, radar project lead at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and director of signal processing for the defense industry at BAE/Alphatech. In academia, Steinhardt served as assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied mathematics at Cornell University, where he performed funded research on sensor arrays and optimal detection capabilities. Dr. Steinhardt holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and master’s and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is an IEEE fellow and a member of the Naval Science Board at the National Academies of Science.
As VP of product, John Stockton will be in charge of overseeing AEye’s product development, working closely with AEye’s technologists and customers to ensure product excellence. Stockton is an entrepreneur and seasoned semiconductor executive with a track record of taking products to market and scaling production. His past CEO roles include ARC International, a semiconductor intellectual property company; Synergy Semiconductor, a maker of high-speed bipolar ICs; and Stream Machine, an MPEG-2 codec maker. He was also the founder of SVision, as well as a fellow at VLSI, where he co-created the company's PC Chip-Set Division, and organized ARM Ltd., a UK-based processor design and intellectual property licensing company. Stockton has been a venture partner at both Mayfield Fund and Autotech Ventures, where he focused on semiconductor/MEMS/EDA and automotive sectors, respectively. John holds a Bachelor’s degree in nuclear and electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
As chief of staff, Blair LaCorte will be responsible for planning and executing key organizational objectives. Blair is an accomplished leader and strategist with a long history of leveraging his change management skills to drive operational alignment and growth within companies. Most recently, LaCorte served as global president of PRG, the world’s largest live event technology and services company, CEO of XOJET, one of the fastest growing aviation companies in history and the largest private charter company in North America, and operating partner at TPG, a premier private equity firm with over $58B in global investments. LaCorte has also held numerous executive and general management positions in private and public technology companies including VerticalNet, Savi Technologies, Autodesk and Sun Microsystems. LaCorte graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine and holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, where he later served as an executive fellow at the Center for Digital Strategies. He has received numerous patents in logistics, sensor fusion, and supply chain security, as well as several prestigious industry awards, including NASA’s Innovator of the Year and Advertising Age/Business Marketing’s Top 10 Marketer.
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 world-renowned investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Intel Capital and Airbus Ventures. For more information, please visit www.aeye.ai