Apple veterans’ LiDAR startup Aeva adds $200 million to war chest

Aeva, a laser-sensor startup founded by two ex-Apple engineers, is poised to increase its war chest by $200 million with an investment by a Hong Kong-based hedge fund ahead of its public listing via a reverse merger.

New photos of Apple’s autonomous vehicle (via The Last Driver License Holder)
Photo of Apple’s LiDAR-equipped autonomous test vehicle in 2019 (via The Last Driver License Holder)

Gabrielle Coppola for Bloomberg:

LiDAR, a system of laser-based sensors that allows a vehicle to “see” its surroundings, is among the most expensive components of autonomous cars and key to enabling more advanced self-driving features. With robotaxis still years away, LiDAR companies are targeting limited self-driving features in passenger cars and consumer devices and industrial robots.

Aeva — a company that’s yet to turn a profit — is valued at about $3 billion, the startup’s chief executive officer, Soroush Salehian, said in an interview. Aeva plans to use the extra cash to meet demand from consumer device companies and speed up some of its technological achievement milestones, he said.

Salehian, who helped develop the Apple Watch during his almost five years as a product manager at the tech giant, says Aeva has an edge in consumer devices because its tech can be fit onto a chip small enough for tablets and smartphones, as well as the bulkier boxes used for automotive LiDAR.

Aeva has said it’s received strategic investments from Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the majority shareholder of Volkswagen AG. The company also is working with VW brand Audi, and with customers in trucking and mobility, Salehian said. It expects to generate revenue from series production of a car starting in 2024…

MacDailyNews Take: The automotive world is going to be changing very rapidly in the next few years.


  1. “MacDailyNews Take: The automotive world is going to be changing very rapidly in the next few years.”

    Nope. If you really think self-driving cards are going to be mainstream roaming the roads in the next few years, or even by a significant amount…

    iCal’ed 😂

    Mind you, your site will be dead and closed in a few years so…just say what you need to say I guess 🤫

    1. Must admit I am something of a self driving car doubter as a serious prospect this decade but even so I still think that MDNs take isn’t too fanciful because I do think certainly in the next 5 years that the auto industry will be changing very quickly. Electric technology will be the inspiration for this in wide ranging ways though I suspect most not directly related to true self driving abilities. By then many companies will be producing little but non ICE vehicles and when they will be Competitively priced due to increased output and returns on initial development and re tooling costs. Apple will be a big part of this directly and indirectly and as usual have a powerful influence on others to follow. Meanwhile this will enable increasingly sophisticated self driving aids to progress on what I suspect will be a long journey to commonality.
      So yes the take may well be prophetic and worth I-Calling if a little optimistic in time scale.

  2. The fastest way to promote self-driving cars is to standardize and update infrastructure. In the U.S., self-driving vehicles need an incredible AI to deal with all of the crazy road and intersection designs, faint or non-existent road marking, inaccurate markings and signage, etc. And that is on top of the unpredictability of human drivers in the mix – people speeding, swerving between lanes, failing to stop for stop signs or red lights or right turn on red. The list goes on.

    The first thing that needs to be added to a self-driving cars is an inflatable hand with an extended middle finger – the New York option.

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