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AEye and the Future of Autonomous Mobility

By Blair LaCorte

The vision of autonomous mobility is becoming a reality — beginning with closed loop applications and specific use cases that make today’s assets and business models better, smarter and safer. LiDAR will be the key enabler for these rollouts — augmenting cameras and radar in every application and AEye, with its unique, intelligent LiDAR, will play a key role in driving the future of safe autonomy.

AEye’s business model, technology and solution have achieved unprecedented validation from the market — through independent lab evaluations, extensive due diligence from strategic investors, and industrialization and commercialization agreements with some of the world’s largest and most established Tier 1 automotive suppliers — all underpinned by an integrity of culture that permeates our partnerships.

Validated Model

AEye has been vetted by the most influential companies in the automotive industry — including Continental, GM Ventures, Intel, Hella, LG, Subaru, and AISIN. These companies have become strategic investors and long-term partners who have participated in multiple investment rounds. The company is well funded: AEye’s SPAC transaction, expected to close in Q3, will deliver up to $455 million of gross proceeds upon close, including up to $230 million in trust from CF Finance Acquisition Corp. III, and $225 million in cash from a fully subscribed PIPE offering to fully fund the company through profitability.

“We are very excited to further our investment in AEye and proud to partner with their team to deliver state-of-the art long range, high performance LiDAR sensors to enable new compelling features such as highway pilot, and integrate these sensors in vehicles in volume starting in 2024 models for OEMs, globally. Our broad partnership combines two industry leading teams of LiDAR engineers from three continents to bring best-in-class automotive grade autonomous driving solutions to market.”

— Frank Petznick, Head of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Continental

Validated Technology

VSI Labs, a leading independent automated vehicle technology evaluator, has verified AEye’s breakthrough capabilities, noting its adaptive, high performance LiDAR has set new standards in long range, high-resolution performance and safety required for automotive and trucking highway autonomy.

“The tests delivered impressive results. We monitored the LiDAR performance tests and verified that, in the range test, two vehicles were clearly identifiable and visible at over 1000 meters with dozens of detections on each. We were also able to verify that AEye’s iDAR system delivers 1600 points per degree and delivers scan rates of greater than 200Hz at full frame. While these are certainly industry-leading performance metrics, we were also able to validate that the 4Sight M sensor, when placed behind a windshield at any angle of incident, did not significantly impact performance. This opens up new possibilities for packaging and placement that we haven’t seen before.”

— Phil Magney, Founder and President, VSI Labs

Validated Solution

As part of its Design for Manufacturability strategy, AEye has multiple co-development and manufacturing partnerships with automotive Tier 1s, enabling these suppliers to build and manufacture automotive-grade systems to OEM specifications. These partnerships benefit automakers looking to purchase a cost-effective, high-performance, integrated system from a trusted supplier. Partners like Continental have licensed AEye’s system and are building product and manufacturing lines for SOP 2024.

“AEye is a breakthrough automotive technology startup with a world-class management and technical team. Their AI-based perception solution, iDAR, is a superior technology, rendering the other LiDAR approaches obsolete and creating what we believe is a new standard for ADAS and autonomous solutions in the Japanese market and beyond.”

— Anis Uzzaman, General Partner & CEO at Pegasus Tech Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of Japanese components and systems manufacturer, Aisin

AEye is accelerating into the road ahead. We are scaling operations — bringing on top industry talent across the board, as we double in size this year and move into productization and mass production of our LiDAR systems to meet growing demand across automotive, mobility and industrial markets. AEye has defined the standard for advanced LiDAR systems, and we are well positioned through our differentiated technology, solid backing, and highly efficient licensing model and partner strategy to scale for success — delivering the next generation of perception for everything that moves.

Blair LaCorte is CEO of AEye. A highly accomplished strategist and leader, he has held CEO and executive leadership positions across the aviation, defense, industrial, technology, internet and consulting industries. Blair is also an investor and astronaut in training with Virgin Galactic, and a NASA “Innovator of the Year.”

AEye is the premier provider of high-performance, AI-driven LiDAR systems for vehicle autonomy, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and robotic vision applications. AEye’s smart, software-configurable iDAR™ (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) platform combines solid-state, adaptive LiDAR, an optionally fused low-light HD camera, and integrated deterministic artificial intelligence to capture more intelligent information with less data, enabling faster, more accurate, and more reliable perception. AEye has partnered with leading Tier 1s — such as Continental, Hella, and Aisin — and system integrators to configure and manufacture the sensor at scale to meet the diverse performance and functional requirements of autonomous and partially automated applications.