Tel Aviv-based ultra-high resolution radar startup Arbe Robotics has a new customer: Chinese autonomous driving company AutoX, which has procured 400,000 Arbe-based radar systems to go in its Level 4 fleet.
The companies said in a statement that Arbe’s platform addresses “core issues” that have been the source of recent AV motor accidents, such as correctly identifying vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians, detecting stationary objects and removing false alarms caused by ambiguities in the radar image.
It does so using proprietary 2K-resolution, 30 frames per second imaging technology, that the company says is 100 times more detailed than any other radar currently on the market.
Arbe already has partnerships with five Tier 1 automotive supplier customers, and with chipmaker Nvidia, CEO Kobi Marenko said in a recent webcast. He further added that the company has two additional purchase orders from an unnamed delivery robot company and from "one of the largest car companies in the world.”
AutoX, whose backers include Alibaba, Shanghai Motors and MediaTek, has been at the forefront of AV deployment in China. It was the first company in China to test AVs on public roads without safety drivers, in Shenzhen, one of the country’s largest cities and the location of the company’s headquarters. And it launched a self-driving taxi service, RoboTaxi, in Shanghai.
AutoX was also awarded a permit in California to start driverless testing without a human safety driver, the third company after Waymo and Nuro to have landed such a permit.
The partnership was announced just weeks after Tel Aviv-based Arbe said it would go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Industrial Tech Acquisitions, at an equity valuation of $722 million. The move was supported by a $100 million PIPE (private investment in public equity) from investors that include M&G Investment Management, Varana Capital, Texas Ventures and Eyal Waldman.
Marenko estimated during the webcast that Arbe’s revenue will only be $7 million in 2021, so investors are clearly bullish on the company’s technology. To that point, Marenko said he expects to exceed $300 million in revenue in 2025 — a 4,185% increase in just four years.