Aeva Inc. makes a 3D LIDAR that detects the velocity of distant objects, which is especially useful for trucks because they need a longer stopping distance. TuSimple makes self-driving trucks and has been testing Aeva’s sensor since 2019. Now they’ve made a supply deal. Aeva has also made a distribution deal with automotive suppliers ZF Friedrichshafen and Denso Corp. to supply LIDAR sensors to automakers for passenger vehicles.
Aeva is also following the startup trend of bypassing IPO and is merging with SPAC InterPrivate Acquisition Corp., for a post-deal market valuation of $2.1 billion.
The Patent Forecast® illustrates that Aeva is a little late to the sector, just starting patent filings in September 2018, but that tardiness belies the relevancy of their technology. TuSimple has been patenting in the LIDAR space since early 2017 and Denso has been applying laser to radar since 1985, but apparently they need what Aeva’s got.