Volkswagen Buys $4 Billion in Lidar Sensors from Israel’s Innoviz

Photo: Volkswagen

The race for high-powered sensors is on, and while Tesla uses camera-only sensors, rivals at Volkswagen have doubled down on laser-sensing with a huge lidar purchase.

Volkswagen has purchased $4 billion worth of lidar hardware from Israeli company Innoviz, according to a statement from the lidar company reported by Automotive News.

The purchase was made by Volkswagen’s Cariad unit, the team dedicated to developing the automaker’s automotive software.

Although Cariad declined the provide financial details, the unit did confirm the purchase.

Innoviz estimates the deal’s value to be around seven times the size of the company’s market value, which is currently just over $500 million.

Innoviz CEO and Co-Founder Omer Keilaf called the Cariad supply deal “a significant catalyst” for the company.

Since being founded in 2016, Innoviz went public via a reverse merger in 2021, and it has since watched its shares drop by roughly two-thirds while its market value dropped from $1.6 billion to $540 million.

Volkswagen’s Cariad team was established in 2020, and currently has a handful of suppliers, though it’s not clear how the automaker will mesh various companies into its software strategy.

Cariad also announced deals with technical partners such as Bosch, Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics, with plans for Innoviz to supply lidar sensors starting in the middle of the decade.