Outsight raises €22m to handle petabytes of lidar data in the cloud

Outsight raises €22m to handle petabytes of lidar data in the cloud

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

French lidar developer Outsight has raised €22m ($22m) to boost its software development for industrial edge and cloud applications.

The round was co-led by Energy Innovation Capital (EIC) and the Defense Innovation Fund managed by Bpifrance, alongside Groupe ADP and historical investors BNP Paribas, SPDG, Demeter, Safran, and Faurecia.

Outsight is deploying 3D software across a number of industries, including smart cities, aviation, robotics, industrial automation and logistics.

Outsight’s Real-time Software enables any new project seeking to harness the potential of LiDAR hardware technology from any vendor. The funding is intended to further support the company’s expansion into edge and cloud processing.

After developing real-time software that only needed a web browser to function (Edge LiDAR processing software) now Outsight is going a step further and integrating this technology with cloud-based LiDAR processing of dynamic scenes. This is able to effectively process enormous amounts of 3D data on the order of tens of petabytes.

This aims to address various use cases such as Digital Twin applications and Automatic 3D Data Annotation.

Lidar hardware is now inexpensive and delivers high performance. However, the hardware alone can only be efficiently used by a small number of 3D experts. There are also many problems associated with the massive amounts of data it generates and the lack of standardization across dozens of different hardware vendors.

Stellantis is using Outsight technology to process massive amounts of 3D Lidar data. Other similar customers are active in commercial and industrial vehicles, not only for full automation but also vehicle safety.

In the Smart Infrastructure market, Groupe ADP is using the software to monitor the flow of people at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Outsight is also active in other applications such as vulnerable road users detection, highway monitoring, parking and security.

Another important area is mobile robotics, with customers such as the ECA Group. The software is used for Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Industrial Autonomous Mobile Robots and remote operation.

“LiDAR is emancipating from its roots in self-driving car R&D to become the solution of choice in large-scale applications in mature markets, thanks to the new category of enabling software that we have created,” said Raul Bravo, President & Cofounder of Outsight.

 Adrien Muller, Principal at Bpifrance said “After supporting Outsight’s early stages of development through our innovation funding, we are delighted to support this new stage of growth by acquiring a stake in the company. Our investment reflects our collective ambition to widely disseminate the benefits of LIDAR technologies thanks to Outsight’s unique software-based approach which simplifies their use and reduces their deployment costs.”

“The opportunity for 3D spatial intelligence and autonomy, beyond autonomous vehicles, is massive and untapped.” said Christopher Smith, Managing Director, Energy Innovation Capital. “Outsight’s technically elegant solution unlocks the power of LiDAR for mass adoption by solving the complex, raw data problem and providing valuable insights across a broad range of applications. We are very excited to partner with the Outsight team to accelerate expansion in the US and global markets.”

According to Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP, “Outsight’s development ambitions are in line with our strategy of increasing integration of LIDAR to improve our airport operations, as part of our smart airport ambition. By supporting Outsight in this funding round, we have a key alliance to innovate together around the deployment of LIDAR technology, which is extremely promising, both in Paris and internationally in our network of airports.”

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