BMW, Toyota invest in Lidar startup

March 21, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
BMW, Toyota invest in Lidar startup
Startup company Blackmore Sensors and Analytics (Bozeman, Montana) has announced the successful conclusion of a Series B financing round to scale its automotive Lidar solution. Investors are BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI ventures as well as several venture capital companies. Blackmore specializes in frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) Lidar technology.

Low-cost lidar sensors are required to enable self-driving vehicles. In addition to being more cost-effective, Blackmore's FMCW lidar technology is said to have several competitive advantages over traditional pulsed lidar systems, enabling autonomous driving teams to achieve their goals faster. Blackmore's FMCW lidar technology is designed to eliminate interference, improve long-range performance, and support both range and velocity.

According to Blackmore CEO Randy Reibel it is that last capability that differentiates Blackmore's sensor from its competitors. "Having the ability to measure both the speed and the distance to any object gives self-driving systems more information to navigate safely," said Reibel. "Blackmore provides software and analytics so that its customers can get the most out of the FMCW lidar sensors." 

Blackmore will use the investment to scale the production of its FMCW lidar sensor for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving markets. Increased production capacity will allow Blackmore to support the growing sector of autonomous driving teams demanding a superior lidar solution.

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