|German LiDAR startup Blickfeld raises €7.5M: Know more
|Gatik and Kroger toast autonomous trucking operations with City of Dallas and Texas state partners
|China’s Horizon Robotics Invests in Didi’s Self-Driving Freight Business KargoBot
|Isuzu Motors and Foretellix Collaborate to Revolutionize Self-Driving Trucks
1. German LiDAR startup Blickfeld raises €7.5M: Know more
- Munich-based Blickfeld, a LiDAR solutions manufacturer, secured €7.5M in an initial growth round of funding.
- The investment was led by New Future Capital and UVC Partners, with participation from existing investors such as Bayern Kapital, Continental, Fluxunit, High-Tech Gründerfonds, and Tengelmann Ventures.
- Andreas Unseld of UVC Partners commends Blickfeld for overcoming challenges in LiDAR technology and market fit, positioning the company for a bright future.
- Investors are supporting Blickfeld due to its recent high growth and sales achievements.
- The funding aims to accelerate sales, double revenue in the coming years, and strengthen market position in Europe, North America, and China.
- Blickfeld specializes in providing LiDAR technology solutions, integrating hardware and software for various applications worldwide.
- The company’s LiDAR sensors, particularly the Qb2 model, offer real-time 3D data with integrated perception software called “Percept.”
- Qb2, the first industrial smart LiDAR sensor, is in mass production.
- Blickfeld has experienced growth in bulk goods volume monitoring and is expanding into security applications for reliable intrusion detection in critical infrastructure.
Blickfeld’s ability to address both technological and market fit challenges in the LiDAR space is highlighted as a key factor in its success. The company’s focus on providing a fully industrialized, high-performance, and low-cost LiDAR solution positions it well for diverse applications.
2. Gatik and Kroger toast autonomous trucking operations with City of Dallas and Texas state partners
- Gatik AI and The Kroger have launched a multi-year commercial collaboration involving medium-duty autonomous box trucks.
- Gatik’s autonomous trucks transport fresh, customer-favorite products from Kroger’s customer fulfillment centre (CFC) in Dallas, Texas, to various retail locations.
- A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the progress of local operations, attended by City of Dallas and Texas state officials.
- Gatik has conducted delivery runs multiple times per day, seven days a week, over the past eight months, improving the speed, responsiveness, and frequency of fulfilling Kroger e-commerce orders.
- The collaboration aims to create a seamless shopping experience for Kroger customers through quicker deliveries and enhanced customer service.
- The Vice President of Logistics and Engineering Network Strategy at Kroger, Ben Hamilton, emphasizes the importance of on-time deliveries and excellent customer service in the collaboration.
- Gatik’s autonomous box trucks enable faster deliveries, allowing Kroger to focus more on customer service, leading to happier and repeat customers.
- Texas is a key focus for Gatik’s commercial growth strategy, and the partnership with Kroger aims to realize tangible benefits from autonomous trucking operations in the state.
The collaboration between Gatik AI and Kroger showcases the integration of autonomous technology into a major retailer’s logistics and delivery operations. The focus on Texas as a central part of Gatik’s commercial growth strategy underscores the significance of regional partnerships in scaling autonomous freight operations.
3. WeRide launches self-driving Robobus in Qingdao
- WeRide’s autonomous driving mini-bus (Robobus) started its inaugural passenger-filled journey from Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport to the airport food court after a month of reliability and stability testing.
- This launch marks the formal opening of the first passenger-carrying autonomous driving demonstration route in various zones in Qingdao, including the Jiaodong Airport Economic Demonstration Zone.
- WeRide collaborated with local partners to deploy multiple Robobuses for the “Jiaodong International Airport – Qingdao Airport Food Court” autonomous microcirculation shuttle loop, covering 8.2 kilometers.
- The route aims to provide diverse, efficient, and futuristic travel services, enhancing airport transit and dining convenience for travelers.
- WeRide’s Robobus is touted as the world’s first mass-produced L4 autonomous microcirculation shuttle, featuring a self-developed full-stack hardware and software solution.
- The Robobus can navigate complex urban traffic scenarios with 360-degree perception, detecting obstacles within 200 meters, and offering round-the-clock, all-scenario urban shuttle services.
- Currently, WeRide’s Robobuses are undergoing road tests and operations in 19 cities globally, including Guangzhou, Beijing, Wuxi, Nanjing, and Abu Dhabi.
The deployment of autonomous buses in key economic and trade demonstration areas indicates the strategic focus on integrating autonomous solutions into various urban environments and transportation scenarios. The emphasis on diverse, efficient, and futuristic travel services highlights the potential of autonomous vehicles to enhance the overall travel experience, especially in areas like airport transit and dining convenience.
4. China’s Horizon Robotics Invests in Didi’s Self-Driving Freight Business KargoBot
- Horizon Robotics, a Chinese intelligent driving computing solutions provider, has invested in KargoBot, the autonomous driving freight business of Didi Global.
- Horizon and KargoBot plan to collaborate on high-performance automated driving control units and accelerate the commercial applications of KargoBot’s smart formation system in the logistics field.
- The partnership began in April when KargoBot started using Horizon’s Journey series chips, enhancing safety and efficiency for automated driving trucks, especially in complex road conditions.
- Horizon achieved mass production of vehicle-mounted Journey series chips in 2020, delivering four million pieces and partnering with 30 independent Chinese and joint venture brands on over 150 models.
- KargoBot has focused on developing and commercially operating driverless technology for Level-4 trunk-line freight since February 2021, offering a hybrid automated solution where an L2-assisted navigation vehicle guides various L4 automated driving trucks.
- KargoBot has conducted regular transport tests using smart vehicle formation in northern and northwestern China, transporting over 2.5 million tons of goods annually.
The collaboration between Horizon Robotics and KargoBot highlights the synergy between intelligent driving computing solutions and autonomous freight technology. The focus on high-performance automated driving control units and the smart formation system indicates a commitment to advancing the technological capabilities of autonomous freight solutions.
5. Isuzu Motors and Foretellix Collaborate to Revolutionize Self-Driving Trucks
- Isuzu Motors, a major Japanese automaker, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Israeli startup Foretellix to improve safety testing in autonomous vehicles.
- The collaboration, finalized in late November, aims to accelerate the development of self-driving trucks by leveraging Foretellix’s advanced artificial intelligence technologies.
- Foretellix specializes in comprehensive safety solutions for autonomous vehicles, providing an AI-driven verification and validation platform.
- Isuzu plans to use Foretellix’s technology for rigorous testing and simulation scenarios to ensure maximum safety and reliability of its autonomous truck prototypes.
- The partnership signifies Isuzu’s commitment to adopting innovative technologies and strengthening its position in the emerging autonomous vehicle market.
- Isuzu sees potential in the development of self-driving trucks to enhance efficiency and safety in the logistics industry, aligning with the growing global demand for autonomous vehicles.
Isuzu’s focus on leveraging innovative technologies reflects the broader trend in the automotive industry, where established manufacturers seek collaborations with tech startups to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving autonomous vehicle market. The emphasis on optimizing efficiency and safety in the logistics industry through self-driving trucks aligns with the global trend toward autonomous solutions for transportation and logistics.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company