Shares of lidar sensor startup Innoviz rise in trading debut

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Shares of lidar sensor startup Innoviz rose on Tuesday, its first day trading as a public company.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based firm is developing the sensors, which help self-driving vehicles gain a 3D view of the road. The company has a partnership with BMW to sell the automaker its first generation of sensors, which cost around $1,000. Innoviz is working on a second-generation sensor which it hopes to sell for less than $500.

The shares rose 11 percent to close at $10.79 on the Nasdaq stock market in New York.

Innoviz became public on Tuesday after completing a merger with publicly listed blank-check firm Collective Growth Corp. that raised $371 million. Four other lidar firms – Velodyne Lidar Inc., Luminar Technologies Inc., Aeva Technologies Inc. and Ouster Inc. – have all become public in recent months. Rival AEye Inc. also plans to become public via a merger with CF Acquisition III Corp.

“What we need to [do] now is a lot of engineering to compress everything” in the Innoviz sensor into a smaller package for automakers, CEO Omer Keilaf told Reuters on Tuesday.

Lidar sends out laser beams and detects their reflection off faraway objects to determine how far away they are, similar to how radar systems use radio or microwave frequencies.

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