Self-Driving Truck Startup Kodiak And China’s Hesai Partner Up
Self-Driving Truck Startup Kodiak Robotics Inc. And Hesai Technology Announced Partnership To Integrate Chinese Lidar Technology Into Trucks .
OAKLAND, Calif. — Silicon Valley Self-Driving Truck Startup Kodiak Robotics Inc. And Shanghai-Based Lidar Maker Hesai Technology Co. On Wednesday Announced A Partnership To Integrate Chinese Lidar Technology Into Autonomous Trucks. Laser-based lidar sensors help detect objects ahead of and around the vehicle, and are a key component to many self-driving systems.
Kodiak will use a Hesai lidar sensor on each side of its trucks and will also keep one forward-facing Luminar lidar, said Kodiak CEO Don Burnette, a co-founder of self-driving truck startup Otto and before that an early engineer working on Google’s self-driving car program. U.S. lidar maker Luminar Technologies earlier this month said it was partnering with SAIC Motor Corp, China’s largest automaker.
Burnette said Kodiak focuses on the software of autonomous driving and integrating hardware from suppliers. “I think it is a distinct advantage for Kodiak to have started in a time where we had access to a rich and mature ecosystem of services and suppliers,” Burnette said. The company was launched in 2018 to focus on long-haul trucking and delivers freight between the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Houston, operating autonomously on the highway.
Deals with several big self-driving vehicle companies and momentum in the industry have helped Hesai increase it sales, said Hesai CEO David Li. Last year’s revenue exceeded $60 million, up over 27 percent from 2019, he said.
Revenue in 2017 was a mere $2.98 million. Hesai and another Chinese lidar firm, RoboSense, were sued by U.S. lidar company Velodyne Lidar Inc. in 2019 for patent infringement, but Li said Hesai has settled with Velodyne with a global cross-license deal. “We will not have legal problems one way or another with Velodyne,” he said. Hesai now also counts Robert Bosch as an investor.
This news was originally published at Auto News.