Sumit Sharma as CEO
A Brief History
Sumit Sharma Named As CEO
The Company announced last February the appointment of a new CEO and a change of strategy: “We are exploring licensing of technology and designs and other strategic alternatives for moving forward…”
Developing Automotive LiDAR
The Company said “MicroVison’s future lies in developing our Perceptive Automotive Lidar products and entering partnerships with automotive Tier 1 suppliers…we are continuing to engage with automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers having presented our technology roadmap and have received positive feedback on our products and potential partnership structures…”
Retaining Craig-Hallum to Pursue Strategic Alternatives
The Company provided the following update on its plans to explore strategic alternatives: “As we reported on March 11, we are actively engaged with multiple interested parties to evaluate various opportunities to license our IP as well as other strategic alternatives. We have retained Craig-Hallum to advise us as we continue these efforts to maximize shareholder value.”
Engaging Targeted Prospective Buyers
The Company stated it had “approached a global list of targeted companies and are diligently exploring all options including the sale of one or more of our module product verticals and related technology or a potential sale of the Company.”
Progress on LiDAR
The Company announced it has “developed a consumer LiDAR platform that would allow interested OEMs to possibly get their products to market in 2021, and also could enable an automotive solid state LiDAR solution in the next 2 years.”
Adding Dr. Mark B. Spitzer to the Board of Directors
The Company announced Dr. Mark B. Spitzer joined its board of directors. “Dr. Spitzer is an experienced technology innovator with expertise in eyewear- and head-mounted systems, micro-displays, imaging optics for AR and VR, and photovoltaics. He has a strong record of inventive entrepreneurship with 70 issued US patents, over 86 publications and leadership positions with ground-breaking technology companies.”
Q2 Earnings Webcast Highlights
In the Q2 Webcast, the Company stated, “We are in discussions with certain top tier OEMs and technology companies who may be interested in our Augmented Reality and Automotive LiDAR verticals in particular…We have received feedback from multiple interested parties recognizing that they think MicroVision’s technology is the most sophisticated and potentially disruptive that they have reviewed so far.”
Automotive LiDAR Highlight Video
The Company released a video featuring specifications and capabilities of the Automotive LiDAR Solution it is actively developing
Q3 Earnings Webcast Highlights
The Company stated during its Q3 Webcast, “our long range LiDAR sensor is expected to have a 200 meter detection range of 10% reflectance objects, dense point cloud output, new proprietary scanning technology that allows operation in full sunlight, and be first in market with outputting velocity data in a scanned MEMS LiDAR using a 905 nm laser in Class 1 safe systems. We believe this would be a groundbreaking product. Our first sensor is expected to be slightly larger than a VHS cassette in size and with future implementation of our custom silicon, this size would reduce significantly.”
Automotive LiDAR Updates
The Company provided an update on its automotive LiDAR activities. “Our initial product tests have also demonstrated that the sensor module has the ability to suppress noise from sunlight and other light sources with our new, proprietary MEMS scanning technique, which we expect will also be a key feature of any future product. I also believe gaining confidence in our ability to implement these features in our sensor module puts MicroVision on track to meet key lidar technology requirements for automotive OEMs and gives MicroVision a strategic advantage in the LRL space.”
Adding Judy Curran to the Board of Directors
The Company announced Judy Curran joined its board of directors. “Curran is an accomplished senior automotive executive with over 30 years of experience in vehicle program, engineering and technology leadership. Curran has a strong record of leading innovation at Ford Motor Company where she served in a number of executive positions including Director of Technology Strategy, where she developed the cross-vehicle global strategy for key new technologies including assisted driving, infotainment, new electrical architectures, and connectivity.”
Best-in-class Specs and Progress for Automotive LiDAR
The Company announced progress on its A-Sample. “We expect our 1st generation LRL Sensor to have range of at least 250 meters and the highest resolution at range of any lidar with 340 vertical lines up to 250 meters, 568 vertical lines up to 120 meters and 944 vertical lines up to 60 meters. This equates to 520 points per square degree. Our LRL Sensor will also output velocity of moving objects relative to an ego vehicle across our dynamic field of view in real-time 30 Hz sensor output. This sensor would accelerate development of Level 3 (L3) autonomous safety and Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving features that are important to potential customers and interested parties.”
Adding Seval Oz to the Board of Directors
Seval Oz is a recognized global business and marketing leader in mobility, autonomous vehicle technology and intelligent transportation systems. Oz was a Founder and CEO of Aurima, Inc, a multi-sensor awareness platform powered by AI deep learning for autonomous vehicles. She was previously CEO of Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems, a division of Continental AG Interiors Division. She has served as Head of Global Strategic Partnerships for Google[x]’s Self Driving Cars Program (Waymo) where she supported global business and marketing efforts for Google’s self-driving technology commercial launch.
Q4 Earnings Webcast Highlights
“Over the past year we have made important progress advancing our automotive LiDAR development, bolstering our balance sheet, building the strength of our team, and adding expertise to our Board of Directors while exploring strategic alternatives,” said Sumit Sharma, MicroVision’s Chief Executive Officer. “I expect that the A-Sample hardware and benchmarked data, for demonstration to interested parties, will be available in the April 2021 timeframe. I also expect that a version of our 1st generation Long Range Lidar sensor, after internal validation, reliability and compliance testing, could be available for sale, in small quantities, in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.”
Microsoft gets contract worth up to $22 billion to outfit US Army with 120,000 AR headsets
“The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios,” a blog post from Microsoft’s Alex Kipman reads.
The contract builds on the two-year $480 million contract that Microsoft won back in 2018 to outfit the U.S. Army with augmented reality tech. At the time, the contract detailed that the deal could potentially result in follow-on orders of more than 100,000 headsets. “Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement sent to TechCrunch at the time. Microsoft says this announcement marks the transition from prototyping these designs to producing and rolling them out in the field.
MicroVision Announces Completion of its Long-Range Lidar Sensor A-Sample
The Company announced that it has completed development of its A-Sample hardware and development platform for demonstration of key performance features of its long-range lidar sensor to potential customers, partners, or parties interested in strategic alternatives.
“In October 2020
we set an aggressive schedule to complete development of our A-Sample in the April timeframe. I am proud of our talented team, their dedication and their ability to execute,” said Sumit Sharma, Chief Executive Officer of MicroVision. “I believe our differentiated, high-performance lidar sensor has the potential to advance autonomous driving and active safety systems beyond current sensors announced in the automotive market. I expect that a version of this lidar sensor could be available for sale, in initial quantities, in the third or fourth quarter of 2021,” continued Sharma.
“With an expected range of 250 meters and a field of view of 100 degrees horizontal by 30 degrees vertical, we expect this lidar sensor to provide the highest resolution point cloud at 10.8 million points per second while operating at 30 hertz. Additionally, this lidar sensor is designed to be immune to interference from sunlight and other lidars. One of the ground breaking proprietary features of this lidar sensor is its capability to output the axial, lateral and vertical velocity of moving objects at 30 hertz,” added Sharma. “We believe no lidar product on the market, ranging from frequency modulated continuous wave to time-of-flight, has this capability. To achieve safety and successful autonomous driving, we believe this capability delivered at low latency will be a key feature.”