AEye, based in Dublin, Calif., isn’t relying on self-driving cars to take over the roads in the near future, said Blair LaCorte, the company’s chief executive officer. The company sees growth selling lidar, which uses laser beams to create images that computer software can read, in less-advanced driver-assist features called ADAS, or advanced driver-assistance systems.
“We believe there will be millions of ADAS units in cars by 2025 and tens of millions by 2030,” LaCorte said in an interview. “Our long-term growth will come from ADAS.”
Millions of cars
Researcher Guidehouse Insights forecasts that lidar-equipped systems for either ADAS or self driving will be found in more than 80 million vehicles by 2030.
AEye’s pitch is that its active software interprets the images captured by lidar, enabling self-driving systems to make better decisions than passive systems that send data to the car. With software driving growth, its sales will grow as lidar costs fall, LaCorte said.
The company doesn’t assemble its equipment. AEye relies on suppliers to do the manufacturing and has a relationship with German auto supplier Continental, which bought a stake in the startup in October.
Other investors putting money into AEye in the merger deal include GM Ventures, the Subaru-SBI Innovation Fund, Intel Capital, Hella Ventures and the government-backed Taiwania Capital.