Ouster, a San Francisco-based developer of superior LIDAR technology, rose up out of silence today, declaring the commencement of the organization’s new OS1 display LIDAR, and $27 million in Series A funding, drove by Cox Enterprises with support from Fontinalis Partners, Amity Ventures, Constellation Technology Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, and Carthona Capital.
The OS1 speaks to a step change in LIDAR detecting technology that is accessible and available today, with checked enhancements in mass, form factor, and power prerequisites. The 64-channel LIDAR sensor, which additionally matches the determination of the most elevated performing automotive LIDAR technology available today, has started delivering to clients, and is quickly increasing business scale production at a cost point around 85% lower than its opposition.
“The self-driving car industry has been held back for the last two years by the lack of availability of advanced sensors,” Angus Pacala, CEO of Ouster, told Benzinga. “Everyone is clamoring to get their hands on Velodyne sensors, and there’s a nine-month to year back order, and there has been for over a year now. It’s actually prevented more progress being made in this field, and it’s prevented there being a practical route to getting better safety features into consumer cars.”
Ouster says its underlying 64-channel LIDAR framework, called the OS1, is five times less expensive than units delivered by the competition. Pacala says the organization can accomplish this reduction through advancements in semiconductor engineering, empowering Ouster to make custom microchips that cost substantially less.
“LIDAR is still a very new emerging technology, and it took many years to figure out how to build cameras at the scale that makes them a $5 device in everyone’s smartphone,” Pacala said. “It took three decades to get to the point where that was possible, and LIDAR is still in the early days, going into their second decade of perfecting the design of the device, where it could be manufactured at massive scale for low cost.”
Ouster’s Series A investment will principally be utilized for the manufacture and the development of its next sensor designs. The organization envisions fabricating limits in a huge number of sensors in 2018 in view of its present product design, and Ouster’s product roadmap underpins persistently enhancing resolution, range, and alternative form factors. Also, the new capital will bolster the organization’s extension from around 40 representatives today to 100 workers by summer 2018.
“Ouster is poised to be a key enabler of the future of mobility,” said Chris Thomas, a founder and partner of Fontinalis Partners. “We spent the past 12 months researching the broader perception space, with a specific focus on LIDAR, and feel strongly that Ouster’s team, technical approach, and focus on manufacturing at volume positions them to capture a market leadership position today and power the autonomous systems of the future.”