|Israeli auto-tech co Innoviz lays off 13% of workforce
|Autonomous vehicle company Motional is about to lose a key backer
|Outsight and PreAct Technologies Partner to Break New Ground in People Flow Tracking With Advanced Spatial AI
|Isuzu signs onto multi-business autonomous bus project
1. Israeli auto-tech co Innoviz lays off 13% of workforce
- Israeli LiDAR sensor developer Innoviz Technologies is laying off 13% of its workforce, which amounts to dozens of employees.
- The company’s LiDAR sensors are crucial for autonomous cars, with major supply contracts with BMW Group and Volkswagen Group.
- The layoffs are part of a strategic realignment aimed at reducing the company’s 2024 planned cash outlays by $22-24 million annually.
- Innoviz aims to achieve cash savings starting in the first quarter of 2024, with run rate savings expected by the end of the second quarter of 2024.
- The company’s CEO, Omer Keilaf, states that these actions are intended to optimize the company’s cost structure, enhance competitive positioning, and extend the cash runway during a crucial market capture window.
- Innoviz’s share price rose by 3.64% on Nasdaq to $1.71, with a market cap of $282 million.
Despite having major supply contracts with BMW and Volkswagen, the expected revenue from these contracts has not materialized. Innoviz remains confident in its ability to achieve long-term goals and aims to become a market leader in automotive LiDAR, indicating a focus on sustained growth beyond the current challenges.
2. Autonomous vehicle company Motional is about to lose a key backer
- Motional, an autonomous vehicle company, is losing capital support from Aptiv, one of its primary backers, as it aims to launch a robotaxi service in 2024.
- Aptiv, the other half of the $4 billion joint venture with Hyundai that created Motional, will no longer allocate capital to Motional due to the high costs associated with deploying a robotaxi service.
- Motional operates an autonomous vehicle taxi service in Las Vegas on Uber, Lyft, and Via platforms, with human safety operators still present.
- Aptiv is exploring steps to reduce a significant portion of its common equity while working within the joint venture agreement.
- Motional downplays Aptiv’s decision, stating confidence in its funding roadmap and positioning for the next phase of commercialization.
- Motional was formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, with a combined investment of $4 billion to commercialize self-driving cars.
- The original target was to test autonomous vehicles in 2020 and commercialize the technology by 2022, but industry adjustments have shifted these targets.
- Motional has made progress towards launching a robotaxi service in 2024, with plans to use driverless Hyundai Ioniq 5 vehicles and collaborations with Kia on a next-generation vehicle.
The decision by Aptiv to cease capital allocation suggests challenges in the financial viability of Motional’s robotaxi service and the extended timeline for recovering investment. Motional expresses confidence in its funding roadmap, emphasizing partnerships with Hyundai and Kia, but Aptiv’s decision raises questions about the venture’s financial sustainability.
3. China’s XPeng is bringing its Tesla FSD equivalent to overseas owners
- Chinese electric vehicle company XPeng aims to enter the international market and plans to leverage its smart driving software as a selling point.
- XPeng announced its intention to develop the highway-specific Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) for global users in 2024.
- The international version of XPeng’s next-generation, all-purpose XNGP feature is set to commence development in 2025.
- XNGP is comparable to Tesla’s Full-Self Driving (FSD) system and encompasses all of XPeng’s advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features, including highway and urban driving as well as self-parking.
- XPeng’s founder and CEO, Xiaopeng He, expressed the company’s goal of enabling overseas users to access XPeng’s autonomous driving capabilities already available in China.
- XPeng initially used high-definition maps for navigation but has recently removed pre-computed information, allowing vehicles to drive anywhere using real-time road condition detection through sensors like lidars and radars.
XPeng’s strategy to offer its smart driving software to international users aligns with the global expansion trend of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers. The development of NGP and XNGP highlights XPeng’s commitment to advancing autonomous driving technology, aiming to compete with established players like Tesla.
4. Outsight and PreAct Technologies Partner to Break New Ground in People Flow Tracking With Advanced Spatial AI
- Outsight, a leader in 3D Spatial AI Software Solutions, has partnered with PreAct Technologies, a pioneer in near-field flash LiDAR technology.
- The collaboration aims to revolutionize Smart Infrastructure and People Flow Monitoring by making high-resolution LiDAR technology more affordable and accessible.
- PreAct’s approach has reduced LiDAR system costs up to tenfold without compromising resolution, making it an economically viable solution for various industries.
- Outsight’s Spatial AI Software Platform complements PreAct’s LiDAR technology, enabling large-scale deployment in applications requiring detailed spatial analysis and monitoring.
- The partnership is especially impactful for smart city infrastructure, retail, transportation hubs, and other contexts needing efficient people flow management in high-density areas.
- The integrated solution promises to deliver smarter, safer, and more sustainable environments through advanced Spatial Intelligence.
The partnership addresses the affordability barrier associated with high-resolution LiDAR technology, making it more accessible for widespread deployment in diverse industries. The collaboration between Outsight and PreAct aims to provide seamless integration, emphasizing the importance of combining advanced software solutions with affordable hardware for comprehensive Spatial Intelligence.
5. Isuzu signs onto multi-business autonomous bus project
- Isuzu Motors has joined an agreement with five other companies, including Mitsubishi Corporation, focusing on leveraging digital transformations, especially in autonomous driving services, to enhance regional public transport.
- The collaborative project involves Isuzu, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Chuo Kotsu, Aisan Technology, and A-Drive, with a specific emphasis on autonomous driving services in Kanagawa Prefecture’s Hiratsuka City in Japan.
- Isuzu’s recent efforts in addressing logistics and mobility challenges through digital transformation align with the goals of the autonomous driving project, particularly in advancing autonomous bus transport.
- The agreement includes a commitment to conduct a self-driving bus proof of concept in Hiratsuka City, aiming to contribute to improving regional public transport in collaboration with the local government.
- The collaboration’s overarching objective is to revitalize Japan’s regional communities by offering modern, convenient, accessible, and sustainable public transport services.
Isuzu Motors’ participation in the agreement signifies the automotive industry’s continued focus on digital transformation, particularly in the context of autonomous driving services and their potential impact on regional public transport. The emphasis on revitalizing regional communities suggests a holistic approach to technology deployment, recognizing the potential socio-economic impact of improved public transport services on localities.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company