During a study visit to Stanford University in 2008, Blickfeld’s founder, Florian Petit, participated in the DARPA Grand Challenge where, for the very first time, he saw self-driving cars with huge, bulky LiDARs (light detection and ranging) on their roofs. After returning to Europe and completing his doctorate, Florian again encountered autonomous vehicles in 2016 – and realized that the size of the LiDARs on the roofs of those cars had not changed at all over those eight years. While technology had developed at breakneck speed in other areas, LiDAR technology had clearly come to a standstill. From this realization came his idea of developing a small, robust LiDAR that’s scalable for mass production.
Three years into its history, Blickfeld has grown into a team that’s 100 members strong. The company has presented two products so far – the Cube and the Cube Range – which together form the complete automotive LiDAR suite, which is able to cover a 360° view around the vehicle. Blickfeld took another important step in 2019 by launching a serial production line capable of manufacturing 200,000 units per year. Since May 2019, Blickfeld has been collaborating with Japanese tier-1 supplier Koito to build sensors that can be integrated into headlights.
How Has Blickfeld Benefited from UnternehmerTUM?
UnternehmerTUM supported Blickfeld with venture capital, and it was this cash injection that helped grow the company’s team and drive forward its serial production. UnternehmerTUM’s close connection with the Technical University of Munich, as well as with study programs such as the Center for Digital Technology and Management, has proven highly beneficial to Blickfeld in terms of recruiting talents. UnternehmerTUM also provided hands-on support for Blickfeld in setting up the business and helped the start-up establish important business contacts.