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Common in ADAS, Cepton Inc. (NASDAQ: CPTN) CEO Sees Lidar Going Mainstream in Autonomous Driving and More
March 22, 2022

Common in ADAS, Cepton Inc. (NASDAQ: CPTN) CEO Sees Lidar Going Mainstream in Autonomous Driving and More

  • ResearchAndMarkets forecasts a 21.7% CAGR for the global lidar market to reach $3.74 billion by 2026
  • Cepton won the largest auto industry lidar contract to date from General Motors, which will use Cepton products in its Ultra Cruise package
  • Cepton is well funded after its IPO and is in negotiations with world’s leading auto OEMs, as well as over 120 companies regarding Smart Infrastructure

When carmakers are adding hardware technology to a vehicle even though current software isn’t there yet to maximize the capability, a change is in the works. That’s what is happening with lidar, an acronym for light detection and ranging, that is becoming commonplace in advanced driving assistance systems (“ADAS”) with plans for mass market use one day in autonomous driving. According to Jun Pei, CEO of Cepton (NASDAQ: CPTN), that day is drawing closer, evidenced by widespread adoption by the world’s biggest car brands and Cepton’s support of General Motors’ (NYSE: GM) Ultra Cruise program, that we will see lidar in millions of cars.

In its latest industry report, estimated the global lidar market at $1.4 billion in 2021 and experiencing 21.7% compound annual growth, which will result in a $3.74 billion market by 2026. Analysts at the research firm see many market drivers such as vehicles, drones, exploration, smart cities, etc.

Lidar uses light pulses to determine the distance objects are away to create a three-dimensional map of the surroundings and evaluate the speed of approaching objects. The technology has been quietly easing its way into the auto space for several years where it is used for things like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking, features collectively known as ADAS. While mostly reserved for higher-end cars, original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) are leveraging decreasing costs to make the safety options available in more models while working on next-generation options.

Pei saw the future of lidar as integral to autos, setting up a Cepton’s business in Silicon Valley in 2016 with the purpose of developing inexpensive, high performance lidar products that could be mass marketed. And that they did, creating and patenting what it calls MMT(R) lidar solutions. MMT is short for micro-motion technology, a term that encapsulates the benefits of Cepton’s lidar tech over peers insomuch that it doesn’t use mirrors, doesn’t rotate nor have a bunch of moving parts, and consumes very little power, features that caught the attention of Tier 1 auto lighting giant Koito Technologies and General Motors for its Ultra Cruise ADAS option.

Koito partnered with Cepton and has made over $50 million in investments in the company in recent years ahead of Cepton coming public in February. Japan-based Koito currently supplies headlight assemblies to GM, which will soon include Cepton sensors used in GM’s vaunted Ultra Cruise feature that will allow cars and trucks to maneuver hands-free around 95% of North America’s roads.

Through a combination of lidar, cameras and radars, Ultra Cruise generates an accurate 360-degree, 3D representation of the vehicle’s surroundings, including redundancies in critical areas. Ultra Cruise incorporates lidar behind the windshield, a technology developed exclusively by Cepton.

The upstart company says it is engaged with each of the top-10 global automobile OEMs, including advanced engagements with four of those for mass-market vehicle adoption of Cepton lidars. Management guided revenue of approximately $15 million this year (up from $4.5 million in 2021) and cash on hand of more than $100 million at the end of 2022.

In line with forecast for integration of lidar into other industries, Cepton trumpets nine production awards and 126 total engagements with Smart Infrastructure customers.

Expecting a momentous 2022 for his company as OEMs realize the balance of performance, reliability, and cost of Cepton lidars, Pei recently commented, “We are excited about the long-term opportunity given our competitive advantages and expect to see Cepton lidars in everyday vehicles in the not-too-distant future.”

For more information on Cepton Inc., visit

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CPTN are available in the company’s newsroom at

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