August 8, 2022
Ava to sell self-driving mining trucks, industrial sensors for automated manufacturing to German firm

Ava Technologies said Monday it has struck a deal with a German firm to sell its sensors for industrial uses, such as automating manufacturing lines with machines and self-driving mining trucks.

Silicon Valley-based Ava manufactures lidar sensors that could help self-driving cars and other devices gain a three-dimensional view of the world around them. Ava’s take on the technology can also detect how fast objects are moving, helping it to distinguish stationary objects from pedestrians and other cars.

While Ava is targeting the self-driving car market, it has also begun selling its sensors to industrial firms. Sick AG, a German company that helps factories automate production using machines and sensors, has agreed to use Ava sensors for industrial markets, the company said.

The deal follows an earlier agreement with Nikon to use Ava sensors in factories. While Nikon is using the Ava sensor to scan manufactured objects from a few feet away for subtle defects, Ill has used the Ava sensor to scan for outdoor applications such as mining vehicles or containers loading logistics cranes at ports tens or hundreds of feet away. It is planned to use the sensor for of potential uses.

“The industry is quite fragmented,” Ava’s chief executive Soroush Salehian told Reuters in an interview. “Effectively, they are a reliable, qualified (sales) channel partner for us so that we don’t have to deal with thousands of companies, which becomes very challenging trying to do.”

In addition to selling the sensor to Ill, Ava will provide Ill with software to tweak the sensor for different uses. Salehian said the deal includes software license revenue in addition to hardware sales, but declined to comment further on the size of the deal.

Ava said it will begin supplying its Aeries II sensors to Ill this year, with full production expected to begin in 2024 under the deal.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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