LiDAR Competitors Ouster and Velodyne to Merge


LiDAR sensors are increasingly utilized in vehicles to map the environment, which is required for autonomous driving capabilities and safety. With more vehicle, AMR and other manufacturers using LiDAR to enable hands-free driving systems and multiple safety features, the demand for the technology is expected to rise.

To create a stronger financial position and remain competitive in the market, previous LiDAR competitors Ouster and Velodyne agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction.

Ouster, built on the principal that “digital technology wins,” set a goal to build affordable LiDAR sensors that performed at a high level. A recent example of this is the L3 chip, introduced by Ouster in October. The LiDAR chip processes light more efficiently, outputting up to 5.2 million points per second while consuming less power than previous sensor generations. Ouster equipped its REV7 lineup with L3 and saw photon sensitivity increase by 10-times, a 50% improvement in precision and a 10% reduction in power consumption.

Velodyne’s sensor solutions meet the needs of various industries, including robotics, industrial, intelligent infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems. Velodyne’s Alpha Prime sensor, for example, delivers the optimal long range required for autonomous mobility. The sensor generates a high-quality point cloud in various light conditions with advanced sensor-to-sensor interference mitigation, power efficiency and thermal performance.

“Ouster’s cutting-edge digital LiDAR technology complemented by Velodyne’s decades of innovation, high-performance hardware and software solutions positions the combined company to accelerate the adoption of LiDAR technology across fast-growing markets with a diverse set of customer needs,” said Ouster CEO Angus Pacala.

A robust suite of products to continue to serve a diverse set of end-markets and customers are offered through the combined company, led by Pacala, who will serve as CEO, and current Velodyne CEO Ted Tewksbury, who will assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board. With an expanded global commercial footprint and distribution network, the merged company is expected to deliver increased volumes, reduce product costs and drive sustainable growth.

“LiDAR is a valuable enabling technology for autonomy,” said Tewksbury. “The combination of Ouster and Velodyne is expected to unlock enormous synergies, creating a company with the scale and resources to deliver stronger solutions for customers and society.”

Under the terms of the agreement, signed Nov. 4, existing Velodyne and Ouster shareholders each own about 50% of the combined company, based on current shares outstanding. The merger transactions are subject to customary closing conditions including shareholder approval by both companies. The companies continue to operate their businesses independently until the close of the merger transactions, which is expected in the first half of 2023.

Edited by Erik Linask
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IoTevolutionworld Editor

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