27 July 2017
Osram takes 25% stake in LiDAR technology firm LeddarTech
Osram of Munich, Germany has made an investment (in the mid double-digit million euros range) to acquire a strategic 25.1% stake in LeddarTech Inc of Québec, Canada, which was founded in 2007 and has developed patented Leddar LiDAR sensing technology integrated into semiconductors and sensor modules for self-driving cars and driver assistance systems.
LeddarTech specializes in solid-state LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems that use infrared light to monitor the area around them. Leddar comprises what is said to be a unique combination of light-wave digital signal processing and software algorithms that enable the production of solid-state LiDARs delivering superior performance and reliability at the highly competitive price. LeddarTech’s sensors are used in multiple mobility-related markets including automotive, intelligent transport systems, drones, and industrial vehicles.
The firm’s optical sensing technology is reckoned to be highly complementary with Osram’s semiconductor products, and the two firms already work together.
Osram’s investment in LeddarTech is a response to the growing demand for LiDAR technology (an essential component in self-driving vehicles and in many other mobility-related applications), which - similarly to radar technology - detects objects and measures distances and speeds, but using infrared light.
“Osram is already the world’s leading provider of sensor lights for autonomous vehicles and is experiencing steadily rising demand,” says Stefan Kampmann, chief technology officer at Osram Licht AG. “We see the investment in LeddarTech as a logical step on the way to becoming the leading provider of solutions in this area,” he adds.
“We see a great natural fit between our two companies,” says LeddarTech’s CEO Charles Boulanger. “LeddarTech is on its way to becoming the reference in solid-state LiDARs for the automotive industry, and we believe our association with the market leader in automotive lighting represents an important milestone in that direction,” he adds. “This investment from Osram is part of a larger financing round currently under way by LeddarTech and expected to be finalized shortly.”