Kodiak Robotics Inc is adding Hesai Technology Co’s LIDAR to its autonomous trucks for peripheral vision. The trucks will keep their one forward-facing Luminar LIDAR and add Hesai LIDAR on each side of the truck. Although a Silicon Valley startup, Kodiak company is testing autonomous, long-haul trucking between Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. Hesai, headquartered in Shanghai, China, recently raised $173 Million in Series C funding.
Hesai was sued by Velodyne Lidar for patent infringement in 2019, but they have settled with a global cross license deal. Hesai’s patent portfolio is roughly ⅓ of Velodyne’s (6 vs 19 issued patents), so Hesai must have some important patents to bring Velodyne to a cross-licensing deal.
Cross-licensing is one of the best uses for patents. If you don’t have patents, all you have is cash to give to your competition in a settlement.
With legal issues behind it, an OEM deal made, and recent funding, Hesai has been validated legally, commercially and financially, so expect to hear more progress from it soon.