In the past two years, more than USD $800m has been invested in lidar companies.
Some companies, despite being created only a few years ago,
have received millions in investments: Quanergy, launched in 2012, received $180m in 2017; and Blackmore, founded in 2016, recently received $18m from BMW and Toyota—very impressive input.
And things are equally impressive on the output side. Most current products, such as those proposed by Velodyne, use a macro-mechanical scanning of laser beams at wavelengths of 830–940 nm. But MEMS scanners are foreseen as the next evolution of automotive lidar, promising to be smaller and cheaper. Then the subsequent step may very well be the optical phased array proposed by Quanergy. This technology stems from fibre-optic communications. It's got no moving parts, which suggests it'll be cheaper, smaller, and more robust.