Israeli autonomous vehicle sensor startup Innoviz Technologies Ltd. said it raised $9 million in a Series A funding round, from Zohar Zisapel, Vertex Venture Capital, Magma Venture Partners, Amiti Ventures and Delek Investments.

Innoviz was founded in 2016 by Omer Keilaf, Oren Rosenzweig, Oren Buskila and Amit Steinberg. All founding members served in the elite technological unit of the Intelligence Corps of the Israeli Defense Forces and have since served in key positions at multiple startups and multinational corporations.

Innoviz believes that the optimal sensing solution for autonomous vehicles is the LiDAR, a laser based sensor providing an accurate scan of the vehicle’s surrounding. However, high performance LiDARs come at prohibitive cost for mass commercialization. Innoviz is developing a high definition solid state LiDAR (HD-SSL) is based on breakthrough technology which offers superior performance and accuracy – wider field of view, higher resolution in both axis and long range sensing – while significantly reducing size and reducing cost below $100.

The Innoviz HD-SSL serves as the cornerstone for the sensing required for fully autonomous driving. Innoviz expects to take a leading role in the development of the full sensing system required for this emerging industry and overtake technological challenges such as sensor fusion, 3D mapping and localization. The company plans to present its prototype product by the end of 2016.

“The car industry is gearing up towards a revolution by the introduction of autonomous vehicles,” said Omer Keilaf, co-founder and CEO of Innoviz. “The ability to transform this vision into a reality depends on performance and cost. Current approaches compromise passenger safety by failing to include LiDAR sensors as part of the system, due to cost and performance limitations. Our groundbreaking technology will make our HD-SSL accessible to mass market, positioning Innoviz as a leading force in the manifestation and acceleration of this revolution.”

“Innoviz introduces a solution that solves a major performance and cost issue in existing technologies for Autonomous Driving,” said Zohar Zisapel, investor, co-founder and chairman of Innoviz. “I always look to invest in companies leveraging advanced technologies to solve real pains for their customers and the lack of cost effective LiDAR is definitely a pain point for the Autonomous Vehicles industry. The company was established by a group of extraordinarily talented founders who are building an exceptionally strong R&D team and I am confident in their ability to revolutionize this space.”

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