On Wednesday, the 17th of April 2019, the Aeva Inc., a start-up founded by two former Apple Inc. engineers, Mina Rezk and Soroush Salehian, had signed a deal with an Audi-owned unit working on autonomous driving technology for Volkswagen AG, in order to develop a next-gen lidar sensor system.
Followed by the signing of the merger, Aeva had been quoted saying that the Autonomous Driving Unit of Audi, a center of focus for Volkswagen’s self-driving effort, would be using their lidar sensor. In fact, Audi would be using Aeva’s lidar sensor on their “e-tron” development fleet of self-driving vehicles at their production hub in Munich, Germany.
According to the claims of lidar sensor makers, likes of start-up Aeva, the sensors could offer a three-dimensional view of the road at a much cheaper cost, while the traditional self-driving sensors use laser light pulses for rendering a precise image surrounding the car and the system alone could cost $1,00,000.
Followed by the declaration of merger, Audi ADI’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer), Alexandre Haag had been quoted saying that the German luxury carmaker had been planning to use the lidar sensors to develop robo-taxis, which was expected to ferry passengers autonomously around populated and urban areas over the next few years.
Nevertheless, Aeva and Audi’s ADI (Autonomous Driving Unite) had not yet disclosed the financial terms of the deal.