2023 CES: Lidar tech is ready for closeup


Lidar company Cepton is demonstrating to CES in Las Vegas that it’s more than just a speculative Silicon Valley play, it’s a company with technology and contracts that deliver sustainable value.

Cepton’s value proposition is based on the fact that General Motors is a customer, and from 2023, they will equip the automaker’s nine vehicles with lidar sensors. Under the contract with GM, the company will open an office in Detroit, a suburb of San Jose, California, to serve as a hub for its automobile business.

Short for “light detection and ranging,” lidar is a sensor technology that creates a map of the surrounding environment. This technology is considered a key component for self-driving and fully self-driving cars.

In the past two years when capital costs were low, Cepton and other lidar companies went public through special purpose acquisition companies. But Federal Reserve rate hikes and geopolitical tensions are slowing the flow of capital to auto tech start-ups. New investment in mobility technology start-ups in the third quarter of 2022 fell 79% year-on-year, according to financial services firm Pitchbook.

Cepton CEO and co-founder Jun said, “There was a big economic expansion in the last few years, so everyone was in a frenzy. It changed the mindset of investors.”Pei said car news“And they really see the value you’re creating in your business operations.

Lidar companies have struggled over the last two years with the merger of Ouster and Velodyne. His AEye, a lidar firm backed by financial services giant Kantar Fitzgerald, saw its valuation fall 25% from $2 billion to $1.5 billion after it merged with Kantar Special Purpose Acquisitions last year. I was.

Founded in 2016, Cepton won a contract from GM to supply advanced driver assistance systems to automakers in 2021. With this deal, Cepton is expected to earn his $250 million. Japanese lighting supplier Koito, an early investor in Cepton, has licensed the company’s technology for installation in GM vehicles. Koito has the technology and manufacturing capabilities to install Septon’s lidar technology, which looks like a square with two lights embedded in the headlight.

Cepton will showcase the lidar-equipped Ford F-150 at CES. This is the first time for Koito Manufacturing to show the public a headlamp equipped with Cepton’s lidar technology. But the demonstration does not imply a Septon deal with Ford, Pei said.

Cepton is in talks with automakers about 2023, but nothing has been finalized, Pei said.

“We believe that we stand out in this industry, ultimately deliver value to investors and have a real impact on stock price performance over the long term,” Pei said. are less shaken by the current market volatility.”



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