Oryx Vision raises $50M to build better LiDAR for self-driving vehicles

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Israeli startup Oryx Vision has raised a $50 million Series B round led by Third Point Ventures and WRV to help continue to develop and commercialize its innovative LiDAR tech, which is designed to be as simple as a digital camera with greater reliability and sensitivity than existing LiDAR, while also achieving a low cost.

Oryx’s LiDAR has no moving parts, and uses antennas in place of photodetectors to retrieve both range and velocity information for the points of light in its high-resolution scans of its surroundings. Oryx says its unique method means that the system is “a million times more sensitive” than existing LiDAR systems, and is also able to deal better with interference from sunlight, and from other LiDARs in operation on the road.

The startup says the level of performance its tech can achieve is “impossible with existing technologies,” and it’s also designed in a package that’s much more robust thanks to its lack of complex moving parts. That kind of physical design is very attractive in automotive applications, where consistent performance over time, and in a wide range of environmental conditions, is key to achieving automotive-grade certification.

Oryx started working on its own prototype six years ago, and now it plans to ship units suitable for testing mounted on actual cars beginning in the second half of next year. The company says the fresh funding, which also comes from Union Tech Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC will help it speed up its development processes and develop commercial relationships with automotive OEMs, tier 1 suppliers and other potential partners.