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Auto Tech

Autonomous and connected technologies shaping the future of the auto industry

Overview

Autonomous and connected technologies shape the future of the automotive industry

In recent years, the automotive industry has come under the pressure of evolving consumer demands, global climate change concerns, and the imperative to reimagine the future through innovation. In response, tech developers have launched next-generation technologies and tools, with a focus on road safety, fuel efficiency, driver convenience, and security. Collectively referred to as “Auto Tech”, these technologies comprise Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and other sensors, safety and driving assist tools, autonomous and connected passenger vehicles, data capture and analytics platforms, infotainment, and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled vehicle security. Notably, these auto technologies are synergistic and inter-dependent. Most have already been commercialized, with the exception of the autonomous passenger vehicles segment, which is still in the pre-commercial stages.

What's driving this industry?
Market Sizing

The total market for auto tech in the US could reach USD 23 billion–30 billion by 2030

Conservative case

USD 22.5 Bn

Base case

USD 26.4 Bn

Expansion case

USD 30.4 Bn

USD billion142128352021202220232024202520262027202820292030
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COVID-19 IMPACT

  • The Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on auto tech developers, especially autonomous vehicle companies, related LiDAR makers, and infotainment providers. Meanwhile, the impact on segments like connected vehicle platforms and IoT-enabled vehicle security was minimal, as automakers strived to stay competitive through the software side. Data capture and analytics also remained relevant, with vehicle data proving useful to analyze the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mobility.

  • Autonomous vehicle startups including Pony.ai, Beep, and Aurora and incumbent General Motors’ Cruise shifted their focus toward autonomous cargo delivery, as opposed to ferrying passengers, to cope with the decline in passenger travel and to reap the benefits of rising demand for autonomous contactless deliveries.

  • Meanwhile, some companies including autonomous vehicle developers like Ford and its self-driving tech unit Argo AI, Waymo, Motional, and in-vehicle infotainment service provider Vugo suspended their operations or delayed the commercial launch of their respective services during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

  • However, moving forward, autonomous vehicle tech is likely to come back stronger, shifting focus toward safer logistics and changes in commuting methods in a new normal era.

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Market Mapping


Startups dominate the auto tech space, particularly in segments like LiDAR and other sensors, autonomous passenger vehicles, and data capture and analytics. Despite being relatively capital-intensive, segments like LiDAR and other sensors and autonomous passenger vehicles have attracted significant startup activity, boosted by the self-driving vehicle industry and the declining cost of autonomous technology. For example, Waymo managed to bring its Laser Bear Honeycomb LiDAR prices down by around 90% to roughly USD 7,500 by 2019 from the industry norm of USD 75,000 a few years before.

Almost all the players in the LiDAR and other sensors, connected vehicles, data capture and analytics, IoT-enabled vehicle security, and infotainment segments have commercialized their product offerings and today operate either in early or growth stages. However, most of the autonomous vehicle tech developers and some safety and driving assist tools providers are yet to commercialize their product offerings and are hence classified as seed or pre-seed.

Most of the incumbents operating in the space are either automotive companies such as Toyota, Tesla, and General Motors or tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Nvidia, and Apple. Incumbents dominate the infotainment segment, likely given the level of research and development (R&D) required to truly distinguish these offerings in response to pressing consumer demands. Incumbents also hold a notable presence in autonomous passenger vehicles, safety and driving assist tools, and connected car segments.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre-Seed
LiDAR and other sensors
?
Safety and driving assist tools
?
Autonomous passenger vehicles
?
Connected car platforms
?
Data capture and analytics
?
Infotainment
?
IoT-enabled vehicle security
?
Technologies
Technologies
Technologies
Technologies
Technologies
Technologies
Technologies
Google
Bosch
Velodyne Lidar
Luminar Technologies
Aeva
LeddarTech
AEye
Ouster
Innovusion
Cepton
Quanergy Systems
Blickfeld
Algolux
Argo AI
Aurora Innovation
Innoviz Technologies
TriEye
PreAct Technologies
Voyant Photonics
Scantinel Photonics
General Motors
Toyota Motor
Tesla
Intel
Nvidia
Samsung Electronics
Continental
Bosch
Nauto
Luminar Technologies
Cipia
Phantom AI
Revvo
Xesol Innovation
SEEVA Technologies
Wavyn
Autobrains
aiMotive
PreAct Technologies
Provizio
General Motors
Toyota Motor
Tesla
Google
Amazon
Apple
Intel
Nvidia
Bosch
Argo AI
Aurora Innovation
Robotic Research
May Mobility
EasyMile
aiMotive
Beep
Sensible4
Coast Autonomous
Motional
Pony.ai
General Motors
Toyota Motor
Tesla
Continental
Bosch
Airbiquity
Sibros
Mojio
Reviver
Smartcar
Zubie
Continental
Bridgestone Americas
Airbiquity
Dynamic Map Platform
Upstream Security
Wejo
Otonomo
Ridecell
Sibros
Motorq
Vinli
Viaduct
Preteckt
Synaptiv
Toyota Motor
Tesla
Apple
Nvidia
Samsung Electronics
Continental
Bosch
Vugo
Dart Technologies
Ovo Automotive
Samsung Electronics
Continental
Bosch
Intertrust
Upstream Security
Karamba Security
GuardKnox
Dellfer

The Disruptors


Notably, most disruptors in the auto tech industry come from the LiDAR and other sensors segment, which has collectively drawn more than USD 9 billion in funding as of April 2022. Most of the LiDAR-related startups are publicly listed and have commercial-scale customers. Luminar Technologies and Innoviz Technologies are considered the most significant pure-play LiDAR startups in terms of funding (raised USD 995.5 million and USD 482 million, respectively) and are listed on Nasdaq. Both companies have commercial customers but were yet to commence series production as of April 2022.

Autonomous passenger vehicles represent another segment attractive to investors, despite the tech being in the pre-commercialization stage. Collectively, this segment had raised over USD 7 billion as of April 2022. Argo AI and Aurora Innovation are the most well-funded startups in this space, having raised USD 3.6 billion and USD 2.1 billion, respectively, while the latter is also listed on Nasdaq. Notably, these companies are the only autonomous vehicle startups that also develop in-house LiDAR sensors for their vehicles.

The industry also includes several companies that have been listed, all via special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). The companies that went public via SPAC deals include seven LiDAR makers Luminar Technologies, Aeva, Ouster, Innoviz Technologies, AEye, Quanergy Systems, and Cepton Technologies. SPAC deals also include data capture and analytics providers like Ottonomo and Wejo and autonomous vehicle startup Aurora Innovation. Peer autonomous vehicle developer Argo AI has also announced plans to go public in 2022 but via a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

LiDAR and other sensors

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Luminar Technologies
Public - Market cap USD 2.6 bn
Aurora Innovation
Public - Market cap USD 2.5 bn
Innoviz Technologies
Public - Market cap USD 707.6 mn
Aeva
Public - Market cap USD 407.3 mn
Cepton
Public - Market cap USD 305.0 mn
AEye
Public - Market cap USD 178.5 mn
Ouster
Public - Market cap USD 175.1 mn
Quanergy Systems
Public - Market cap USD 25.0 mn
Argo AI
3600
LeddarTech
348
Innovusion
278
TriEye
96
Blickfeld
56
Algolux
33
PreAct Technologies
27
Voyant Photonics
20
Watchlist
?
Scantinel Photonics

Safety and driving assist tools

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Luminar Technologies
Public - Market cap USD 2.6 bn
Nauto
174
Autobrains
145
aiMotive
68
Cipia
55
Phantom AI
44
PreAct Technologies
27
Revvo
10
Watchlist
?
Provizio
Xesol Innovation
SEEVA Technologies
Wavyn

Autonomous passenger vehicles

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Aurora Innovation
Public - Market cap USD 2.5 bn
Argo AI
3600
Pony.ai
1093
Robotic Research
228
May Mobility
195
EasyMile
91
aiMotive
68
Beep
45
Sensible4
17
Watchlist
?
Coast Autonomous
Motional

Connected car platforms

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Sibros
86
Mojio
81
Reviver
51
Smartcar
36
Zubie
26

Data capture and analytics

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Wejo
Public - Market cap USD 117.3 mn
Otonomo
Public - Market cap USD 39.7 mn
Ridecell
135
Upstream Security
105
Sibros
86
Motorq
49
Vinli
20
Viaduct
11
Watchlist
?
Preteckt
Synaptiv

Infotainment

?
Watchlist
?
Ovo Automotive
Vugo
Dart Technologies

IoT-enabled vehicle security

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Upstream Security
105
Karamba Security
30
GuardKnox
24
Dellfer
10

Luminar Technologies

Luminar Technologies manufactures LiDAR sensors for passenger cars, commercial trucks, and robotaxis as well as safety and driving assist tools. Its key LiDAR sensors and other perception software product offerings include “Hydra” and “Iris,” while “Sentinel” offers a full-stack autonomous software system for vehicles. Introduced in 2018 for testing and development, Hydra is a long-range detection LiDAR sensor that can sense objects 500 meters away over a field of view (FoV) of 120 x 30 degrees. Its next-generation product, Iris, launched in 2019, uses similar components as Hydra, but is more compact and cost-effective. Sentinel, unveiled in March 2021, is a full-stack autonomous software system for series production vehicles that offers proactive collision avoidance warnings and highway autonomy.

The company has one engineering and manufacturing facility in Orlando, Florida (also headquarters), two in Palo Alto, California, and one in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is also working with electronic company Celestica on a high-volume manufacturing facility in Mexico, with plans to get it online by 2H 2023.

Key customers and partnerships

As of September 2022, the company had 50+ commercial customers including Volvo, Daimler, Toyota, Hyundai, Intel's Mobileye, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan; autonomous trucking companies Kodiak Robotics and Torc Robotics; and mobility tech company ECARX. The partners were in the process of validating the technology as of December 2021, and the company was planning to commence commercial volume production of Iris by end 2022. 

The company has manufacturing partnerships with electronic companies Celestica and Fabrinet (May 2021) and Zenseact, a unit of Volvo cars (March 2021). Luminar has also acquired several companies including chip design and component suppliers Black Forest Engineering (2018) and OptoGration (July 2021) and high-performance laser manufacturer Freedom Photonics (March 2022).

Funding and Financials

Luminar generated revenue of USD 31.9 million and incurred a net loss of USD 238.0 million (USD 0.69 loss per share) during the year ended December 2021. The company has been listed on Nasdaq since December 2020, via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which valued the combined entity at USD 3.4 billion (August 2020).

Segment:
LiDAR and other sensors
Total funding:
USD 1.0 billion
Competitors:
Aeva, Ouster, Innoviz Technologies, AEye, Innovusion
Disruptor Funding History

LiDAR and other sensors:

Luminar Technologies
Aurora Innovation
Innoviz Technologies
Aeva
Cepton
AEye
Ouster
Quanergy Systems
Argo AI
LeddarTech
Innovusion
TriEye
Blickfeld
Algolux
PreAct Technologies
Voyant Photonics
Scantinel Photonics

Safety and driving assist tools:

Luminar Technologies
Nauto
Autobrains
aiMotive
Cipia
Phantom AI
PreAct Technologies
Revvo
Provizio
Xesol Innovation
SEEVA Technologies

Autonomous passenger vehicles:

Aurora Innovation
Argo AI
Pony.ai
Robotic Research
May Mobility
EasyMile
aiMotive
Beep
Sensible4

Incumbents


Automotive and tech giants racing to develop autonomous cars and driving assistance systems

Most incumbents in the auto tech space develop autonomous passenger vehicles and safety and driving assist tools. Well-established automakers such as Tesla, Toyota, and General Motors (GM) and tech giants like Google, Apple, Nvidia, and Amazon alike operate in these segments.

Several incumbents operate across multiple segments in the auto tech industry, likely driven by the interrelated nature of the tech. Players like Bosch, Tesla, Toyota, Nvidia, and GM operate in as many as three to six segments. Only a few incumbents—Velodyne LiDAR, Apple, Amazon, Bridgestone Americas, and Intertrust—appear to specialize in a specific technology and operate in a single segment.

Acquisitions represent a popular means for incumbents to enter the auto tech space or strengthen their offering by acquiring related tech startups that can complement in-house product development efforts. In fact, several well-known incumbents such as Amazon, Intel, and Samsung only entered the auto tech space after acquiring related startups—Amazon via the acquisition of Zoox, Intel via Mobileye, and Samsung via the addition of Harman International Industries. Meanwhile, companies such as Google, GM, Tesla, Toyota, and Apple engage in in-house product development, coupled with inorganic growth to support tech development.

LiDAR and other sensors
Safety and driving assist tools
Autonomous passenger vehicles
Connected car platforms
Data capture and analytics
Infotainment
IoT-enabled vehicle security
In House Development
M&A
Partnership
Investment
General Motors
Toyota Motor
Tesla
Google
Amazon
Apple
Intel
Nvidia
Samsung Electronics
Continental
Bosch
Bridgestone Americas
Velodyne Lidar
Airbiquity
Intertrust
Dynamic Map Platform

Notable Investors


No investor data is available

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase
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