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Microvision swallows insolvent lidar manufacturer Ibeo

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


The consolidation in the automotive lidar sensor market is taking shape. Now Microvision, a U.S.-based supplier of MEMS-based solid-state lidar sensors, has announced the acquisition of parts of insolvent German manufacturer Ibeo Automotive Systems.

Microvision plans to integrate Ibeo’s perception software into its own future ASICs. Ibeo’s acquisition software has already successfully gone through qualification processes with several OEMs, which will allow MicroVision to significantly accelerate the path to a finished product.

Thus, the acquisition will enable MicroVision to shorten the timeline to deliver a complete lidar and acquisition software solution. This year, MicroVision introduced MAVIN DR, a very compact lidar sensor with a dynamic field of view. Together with its high-resolution point cloud at low latency, this sensor is said to be ideally suited for installation in the vehicle roof.

The takeover also enables MicroVision to advance its cross-market strategy in industrial, smart infrastructure, robotics and the commercial vehicle segment thanks to Ibeo’s flash-based sensor technology and software.

Microvision will pay €15 million for the acquisition. The company estimates revenues from joint hardware and software products at $8 million to $15 million in 2031, with further growth in the future.

Volume production of lidar sensors already started by Ibeo and supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is intended to be continued on the new basis, the U.S. company said. ZF is already producing lidar sensors for Ibeo in 2020 and supplies Great Wall Motor, China’s largest manufacturer of SUVs and pick-up trucks. The highly automated manufacturing facility is capable of supplying sensors to automotive OEMs and customers in other industries.

Ibeo’s SCALA sensor is already in use by leading OEMs such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis. Ibeo’s software is used by BMW and VW, among others. Not insignificantly, Ibeo’s automotive-grade software also automates the time-consuming annotation, validation and recording of products.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, MicroVision will acquire certain assets from Ibeo, as well as IP and teams that will be working at MicroVision at the time of closing. Through the acquisition, MicroVision gains experienced development teams, hardware and software, as well as sales and business development specialists focused on automotive and other markets. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2023 and is subject to clearance by the German Federal Ministry of Economics.

https://www.microvision.com

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