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Ouster to Acquire Sense Photonics to Form Ouster Automotive and Establish a Digital Lidar Powerhouse

Ouster’s mission is to increase the safety of our world and improve quality of life by bringing affordable, high-performance digital lidar technology to multiple markets. The automotive industry specifically is at the center of the autonomous revolution. Autonomy is a paradigm shift that will bring new levels of life-saving technology to the cars we drive.

Affordable, mass-manufactured lidar sensors are one of the key enabling technologies for this progress. And commercializing lidar that can bring about that paradigm shift is the immense challenge Ouster has undertaken.

The automotive market has some of the most aggressive performance and commercial requirements: long-range and short-range, high-resolution, small form factor, extreme reliability, and high-volume manufacturability. All of these must be delivered with a unit price in the low hundreds of dollars.

This is why today, we’re proud to announce our plan to form Ouster Automotive following the close of our planned acquisition of Sense Photonics. We anticipate that this acquisition will accelerate Ouster’s solid-state digital lidar roadmap, drive our automotive growth, and cement our position as a digital lidar powerhouse. 

The Sense team has accomplished a tremendous amount over the past few years, designing their own digital SPAD array and VCSEL components, building their first long-range solid-state digital lidar sensor, and signing a development agreement with a major global automotive OEM. Given our shared philosophy and digital lidar technology, the combination of our two companies is a natural complement. We are thrilled to welcome Sense’s incredible team to the Ouster family following the close of the planned transaction, and together, to become a leading lidar solution for both automotive and non-automotive industries. 


It just makes Sense 

With the planned addition of the Sense Photonics team, Ouster is positioned to be a top technology and commercial partner for the automotive market. We plan to integrate Sense’s technological and commercial advancements to:

  • Establish Ouster Automotive under the leadership of current Sense Photonics CEO Shauna McIntyre and a team of key executives that we expect to join Ouster
  • Accelerate our solid-state lidar roadmap by 12+ months to bring to market a breakthrough 200-meter range solid-state lidar and our planned multi-sensor lidar suite for L2+ autonomy
  • Deliver on major development agreements and advance series production programs currently under negotiation with automotive OEMs for start of production in 2025-2026 


Expansion of Ouster’s product portfolio with digital solid-state lidar

Ouster’s and Sense’s core digital lidar architectures share the same fundamental engineering approach. We both deeply understand that developing VCSEL and SPAD-based digital lidar technology is hard. It requires years of investment to design and fabricate the core ASICs that drive the sensor. But like us, the Sense team embraced the challenge of creating solid-state digital lidar that is well positioned to meet the requirements for automotive series production.


Together, as Ouster Automotive, we plan to leverage the strength of our digital approach to deliver a multi-sensor suite of short, medium, and long-range solid-state lidar to provide a 360º surround view while hitting aggressive performance and price requirements for consumer and commercial vehicles. 


Realizing our solid-state digital lidar vision 

Sense Photonics’ automotive experience and solid-state digital lidar architecture perfectly complements Ouster’s manufacturing and product development expertise. Together, we are poised to become a leading technology and commercial lidar partner for decades to come. 

And to all the new faces from Sense Photonics – we’re so incredibly excited that you’re here and welcome to Ouster! This is just the beginning. 

By LEDinside