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Israeli Auto-Tech Rising Star Oryx Vision Raises $50M

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Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The Petah Tikva based startup’s coherent flash system with no moving parts achieves the depth vision performance required for autonomous driving.

As reported in Globes:

Israeli autonomous car depth sensor developer Oryx Vision announced today a $50 million Series B funding round. Third Point Ventures and WRV led the round with the participation of Union Tech Ventures, and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC. The Petah Tikva based company raised $17 million 15 months ago when it came out of stealth.

Oryx Vision has developed a game-changing system based on light detection and radar (LiDAR) technology for autonomous vehicles. LiDAR measures distances by using a laser beam to illuminate the object. A coherent flash system with no moving parts, it achieves the depth vision performance required for autonomous driving – with the simplicity and robustness of a digital camera.

Autonomous vehicles use LiDAR to create a 3D view of their surroundings by sending laser pulses and detecting their returning signals. Whereas all other LiDARs do that by tracing the energy of light particles with photodetectors, Oryx uses silicon-made microscopic antennas to detect light wave frequencies. This enables a low-cost system that’s a million times more sensitive, is resistant to interference from the sun and other LiDARs, and produces both range and velocity data for every point in its field of view. Such high performance, that will be critical for fully autonomous driving, is impossible with existing technologies.

Oryx will use the new funds to accelerate its development activities and to intensify its commercial engagements with car OEMs, tier-1 supplier and technology players. Having demonstrated the unique capabilities of its technology over the past year, the company expects to ship units for car-mounted testing in the second half of 2018.

The company was founded in 2009 by David Ben-Bassat, who created the core light sensing technology behind its system. In 2016, he was joined by Rani Wellingstein, as co-founder, and the company was renamed Oryx Vision. Oryx is based in Israel with a team of physicists, optical engineers, antenna designers, software developers, and signal processing experts. The company uses the nanotechnology lab at Bar-Ilan University.

Read an interview with Oryx Vision’s CEO Rani Wellingstein here.