Behind the Wall: MicroVision CEO ‘More Confident Than Ever’ In the Battle for Lidar Dominance

LiDAR sensors show car sensing traffic around it. LAZR
Source: Shutterstock

Editor’s Note: This article is part of Joanna Makris’s Behind the Wall series, where she provides retail investors with the insider scoop on the hottest technologies and trends from today’s business leaders, industry experts and money managers. Today’s discussion is with Sumit Sharma, CEO of MicroVision (NASDAQ:MVIS).

Watching the latest James Bond film (No Time to Die) the other day, I couldn’t help but think: Daniel Craig could definitely use some lidar. Today, we’re going Behind the Wall to dig deeper into this next-generation automotive technology and the future of the lidar sector.

 Longtime readers will know lidar is important because it’s the best technology we have right now for making cars “smarter.” Lidar is the heartbeat of the remote sensing world — whether it’s autonomous vehicles (AVs), smart cities, surveillance or intrusion detection, among other things.

We’ve already taken readers up close and personal with several new lidar companies, including Innoviz (NASDAQ:INVZ) and Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR). But there’s one company that has — no pun intended — been on our radar for a long time: MicroVision.

MicroVision has always been a battleground stock —  a perfect storm of lackluster fundamentals and a “show me” story when it comes to its technology. In December of last year, short-seller Hindenburg Research snidely called MicroVision a “corporate husk with almost no revenue or intellectual property value.” That was enough for Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets to take an interest in the company.

The rest is familiar meme stock history. MVIS, trading just under $6 in January, rocketed up the charts to around $22 in June following the company’s announcement of its new A-sample hardware and long-range lidar sensor. Today, like most early-stage growth stocks, MVIS stock has since retreated from the highs, presently trading just over $9. Still, that’s a more than 70% gain year-to-date (YTD).

When it comes to lidar, as with any disruptive technology, the market is impatient. So for me, two words come to mind watching Daniel Craig race an Aston Martin alongside sun-bleached Mediterranean clifftops: impending doom. And while Mr. Bond might promise leading lady Madeleine “all the time in the world,” lidar stocks certainly can’t promise investors the same.

As a longtime tech investor, I’ve watched countless companies crash and burn — not in Maseratis, but through balance sheets in capital-intensive markets. But I’ve also seen the payoff — the magic alignment of technology and timing.

So for MVIS (like Mr. Bond) this is certainly no time to die. My take? In an early-stage market like lidar, MicroVision has as good a chance as anyone else to take the crown. Plus, the company has other products beyond lidar with potential, including components for augmented reality (AR) glasses. So to separate the hype from the stock and get down to brass tacks, we had a long-awaited chat with MicroVision CEO Sumit Sharma on October 6, 2021. Coming fresh off the IAA Mobility auto show in Munich, Sharma shared why he’s feeling “more confident about [the company’s] path than ever before.”

Here’s what happened.

MVIS Stock: Then and Now 

Sharma made it clear his confidence is “not just hubris.” For MicroVision, that confidence is grounded in the cost-performance of its lidar technology and positive engagement with automakers. If there’s one key takeaway from our conversation, it’s that investors shouldn’t confuse the company keeping things lowkey for idleness: “As a company, we tend to be humble,” Sharma says.

To be fair, longtime tech investors have been lured by the siren song of promising technology before. And MicroVision is no stranger to controversy. Back in July, when I wrote an open letter to Sharma, I was focused on three things: 1) MVIS’s very high short interest (up since August and now 18% of float); 2) the potential sale of the company; and 3) the promise of its new lidar technology.

Today, much of the narrative around MVIS is the same. Ask any knowledgeable investor to give you the elevator pitch on the stock and you’ll probably hear two things:

  • The company has been around “forever” (okay, just since 1993 — but that’s still 28 years) and hasn’t generated meaningful revenue.
  • MicroVision is essentially a new company under Sharma’s leadership and appears to have some interesting automotive lidar tech.

MVIS has a polarizing backstory, kind of like Bond himself. But so what? Smart investors know that disruptive technologies can create overnight success stories — and breakout investments. My two cents: with new management and new products, this future-success story is certainly worth a listen.

Since taking over as CEO last February, Sharma has clearly changed the narrative at MicroVision, publicly communicating the company’s lidar rollout every step of the way. While fresh at the reins, this industry veteran has been around long enough to be a legitimate competitive threat. Before MicroVision, Sharma was Head of Manufacturing Operations for Project GLASS at Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL,NASDAQ:GOOG). He has also held roles at companies like wearable technology firm Jawbone. And when it comes to optics and projection technology, Sharma has the skills to make even Bond’s tech consultant Q jealous.

The Haves and Have Nots 

Sharma has every reason to feel good about MicroVision’s competitive positioning right now. After all, lidar appears to be the go-to technology for carmakers looking to enable more intelligent driving. As Sharma states, “Every OEM and every Tier One that was present [at the Munich Auto Show] had a lidar story as part of their product story.”

For the technologists among us, the promise of lidar is compelling. But for investors looking at lidar stocks, it’s more like a high-speed car chase on dizzying, undulating roads. Despite several high-profile announcements of lidar-based autonomous driving (AD) programs, the market seems to be suffering from motion sickness, with lidar stocks down as much as 50% YTD.

For its part, MVIS stock has actually bucked the trend, almost doubling YTD on the promise of new lidar products it announced in April. Yet MVIS hovers at a market capitalization of $1.6 billion — still a fraction of lidar’s golden child Luminar, valued at a whopping $5.8 billion.

Why the valuation gap? After all, every lidar company in the bunch is essentially pre-revenue right now. No one has yet to ramp to full-volume production.

The “haves” say they have signed relationships with big carmakers to prove they’re legit. For its part, Luminar announced a relationship with Volvo (OTCKMTS:VLVLY). And just days ago, the stock swooned on speculation that its lidar, through a partnership with Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Mobileye, is being used to support ADAS at electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID). Innoviz is another lidar supplier with an announced partnership to its name; the company was selected by BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY) for its AD program.

Investors Are Getting Restless 

The most fervent MicroVision bulls have their eyes on the prize: a massive automotive market. They’re also turning to social media channels to share their opinions. Hang out on Reddit for a few minutes and you’ll find detailed field research, competitive analysis between lidar players and even real-time feedback on product demonstrations from the recent Munich show. 

But with growth stocks underperforming and several competitors boasting big announcements with carmarkers, investors may be wondering if the lidar market is already locked up. With several companies already securing relationships and order books, is it too late for MicroVision — or any lidar player, for that matter — who hasn’t yet seen the ink dry on an OEM contract? Here’s what some Redditors had to say: 

  • “If we can’t get one partnership by year’s end my outlook is grim. MVIS can’t strike a good deal over their 25+ years as a company…something has to change.”
  • “I’m not necessarily of the mindset that it has to be by year’s end, but I agree that we don’t have forever to sit back and wait. Especially if other manufacturers are out there making deals.”

Sharma addressed these concerns head-on. For MicroVision, the ball is still very much in play: “I believe none of the companies have a first-mover advantage because I can tell you just after the show how many people have actually engaged with us,” Sharma says.

Moreover, the aggrandizing language used by other lidar companies could be overstating the true nature of their relationships. “I’m smiling… the word[s] ‘order book’ always get me going,” he says. “Is it that backlog? Are they saying it’s guidance? Is that on the P&L? People can say words that they want to say.”  

Sharma also shares my view that not every lidar company will meet the needs of a handful of “Goliaths” for both price and performance. He also highlights the time and complexity involved in getting these deals done. “We could be done with our technology, but qualifying a vehicle takes a lot. There’s regulations that you have to go through.”

As a result, a well-capitalized balance sheet is necessary. “That’s why… companies like us and our competitors have raised enough money, because you have to ride out these waves.” For its part, MicroVision announced a $140 million At-the-Market (ATM) equity offering in June.

Finally, when it comes to differentiating among lidar sensors, the CEO encourages investors to look beyond the cost of their individual components. Sharma says, “I open [the lidar] up and show them like, “Look, everything inside here is something you know. It’s silicon, it’s glass, it’s plastic, it’s metal. There’s nothing exotic. It’s everything you’re familiar with. The magic part is of course our IP that we’ve created.”

So let’s not typecast. MicroVision — the dashing gentleman spy of lidar — can certainly surprise us. With a new CEO on board, some potentially exciting new products and a stock that’s reset to more reasonable levels, now’s the perfect time to look at MVIS stock with fresh eyes. 

Read on, watch the video and share your take on MicroVision and lidar stocks with me at

Joanna Makris: Let’s talk about lidar. It’s a competitive space, not everyone’s going to make it. Are many of these companies even able to meet carmaker requirements? And what’s your take on the state of the industry right now?

Sumit Sharma: Recently, we presented our sensor at the Munich Auto Show, so I can give you direct context from recently what we’ve done. It’s actually very interesting being there because everybody was demonstrating their technology publicly. So it was kind of pound-for-pound. It was all out there. 

One thing that I can walk away clearly saying is that every OEM [original equipment manufacturer] and every Tier One that was present there had a lidar story as part of their product story. ADAS [advanced driver-assistance system] is going to be big and I think it’s clear that, for ADAS features — beyond autonomous driving but even in ADAS, in the space like advanced safety — lidar is required. Because every OEM, every Tier One [automotive supplier], one of the biggest things that they were talking about was lidar. So I think it’s important to understand that what we’re talking about in lidar, all the companies that are in the lidar space — there is a market, there is a market that clearly we all have to find a way to attack and to find a solution.

But knowing the market — which is automotive OEMs and Tier Ones — I think it’s also important to remember: they know their space, they know their customers. Everything has to be priced competitive [and] the highest in technology. 

So, what I walked away [with] was… more confident about our path than ever before. And it’s not just hubris. I mean, honestly, I can tell you the sensor size, the specifications, all these things have been known. Cost targets have been known by all the competitors. And all of us have gone a different route to get there. I feel pretty confident in our path because what we demonstrated meets and exceeds what OEMs wanted. And I was very happy with the outcome of our visit.

So you talked about on your last earnings call [about] four new lidar products. Can you discuss what you see as the addressable market for each? There’s a wide span of companies targeting safety on one hand and autonomous driving on the other. So that would be helpful to differentiate for us.

We actually have one main product that we believe actually solves a lot of the issues that OEMs have been struggling with when it came to using lidar technology. It is our dynamic view lidar. The other few products that we announced at the show — and also [that] we’ve talked about [on] the last earnings call — those are more interim products as part of a derivative from our A-Sample that allows different OEMs and different Tier Ones, if they are exploring something new, that they’re able to have a sensor that can do exactly what they need without having to initiate a development contract or joint-development contract. So what we have done with our A-Sample is we’ve tried to enable OEMs and Tier Ones to value the space. 

Again, if you think about it, if you have a very rigid lidar product and every time somebody wants to engage with you, it’s going to take you two to five years to develop it with all the risk and all the cost that goes into it — that’s not attainable for any OEM [because] that’s a lot of money.

So creating something that’s flexible allows them to actually get on board. But the main product, the one that got the most attention, that I can honestly say really we talked the most about with potentially interested parties, was… our dynamic view lidar. 

The dynamic view lidar is of course… imaging the nearfield, the midfield and the far field, all in from a single lidar at an extremely high resolution. So instead of having a static field of view, which is, “Yep, it’s got high resolution near the car, but as you go further and further out the resolution drops” — doing all that at high frame rate, right? It’s exactly what OEMs want. 

And to be frank with you, in 2019, we went on the road before Covid and we collected all the information that was there. So when we went down the path of developing the dynamic view lidar, it was not just something that we went off on our own. We had an idea of the product we wanted to make. And we presented that and we got feedback, we got notifications, we got input. And we’ve been marching along that way. So we were not surprised when the response was positive.

Let’s talk more about dynamic view. You’re operating at the 905 nanometer wavelength. What do you say to competitors who say that you get less optimal performance? And talk to us about why you made that specific choice and what you see as kind of the performance cost ratio or relationship.

As I said, the number one thing, believe it or not — it’s not technology for OEMs and Tier Ones as they consider a partner. It is what the final cost is going to be when you go to scale. 

So a lot of the choices — I mean, us of course, in the last [quarter] we announced our AR [augmented reality], our partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the past. Cost is something that we always look at from the ground up. So the choices that you have to make, if you want to have a scalable product, it has to be something that does not have anything exotic. Something that’s unique. Something that is mass producible, multiple partners. You’re going to have to work through a Tier One to go to an OEM anyway. Those are the things — those choices you have to make accordingly.

There is no limitation to our MEMS-based technology. We can make an FMCW [frequency-modulated continuous wave lidar]. We can make a 1550 nanometer [lidar]. We can make it out of any wavelength. It’s a steering system that can use any kind of laser source. But the specific choice for 905 that we made is because it gives all the specifications that an OEM and Tier One would want and in the cost bracket that they’re looking for. 

The cost-competitive nature of our technology is demonstrable now — not like years in the future after so many hundreds, or maybe a billion dollars worth of investment that some other choices that people may have made. We don’t have to invest in a new fab [fabrication facility] for a SPAD. We don’t have to invest in a new big solar or a laser. We work with partners that have already invested billions of dollars in those spaces and are experts in that. And of course, everything that’s inside there, we have all our technology. But what’s really exotic about our technology is, of course, things like algorithms, things like our silicon, where we actually deploy some special algorithms that allow us to do things that other products cannot do.

The way we achieve high resolution at such range in full sunlight is this technique called Active Scan Locking. It’s part of our IP. And effectively, transmit and receive are always synchronized, which allows us to reject sunlight and also reject rogue laser signals from others in the 905 nanometer range. So therefore, if you think about a true product that you will have on your car — that I may have on my car in the future — it has to be immune to sunlight, but also has to be immune to other systems that are out there. It works in every scenario, like your airbag. It works every time. It has to because it’s a safety feature. So 905 nanometer was a specific choice. It was not an incidental choice for us. And it’s the right choice because it has the cost. But it also has all the benefit, as I said, of resolution, range, velocity as part of the sensor. We were able to achieve that.

Do you think that 1550 solutions are prohibitively expensive? You do have companies that say ‘The proof is in the pudding. Look at some of these announced relationships with car makers.’ So I’m curious to get your take also on whether or not you think any company really has a first-mover advantage. 

I believe none of the companies have a first-mover advantage because I can tell you, just after the show, how many people have actually engaged with us. The names of those Tier Ones and OEMs that you think are all signed up and everybody is coupled up — that cannot be true [with] the amount of RFIs and interest that we’re seeing just a few weeks after.

How do you see these relationships unfolding? I just ask because companies are claiming big order books, that they have these relationships. So I would love to get your take on how you see the relationships evolving over time.

Yeah. I think the word[s] “order book”– I’m smiling, because the word[s] “order book” actually always gets me going, right? Is it their backlog? Are they saying it’s guidance? Is that on the P&L? So people can say words that they want to say. Is it on backlog?… I’ll just leave you that as far as the order book is concerned. 

Now, as far as anything is concerned in automotive, it is going to be something that’s commercially viable, something [that’s] scalable and actually solves a problem. I think we can all talk about it, right? But as a company, we tend to be humble. We tend to focus on what we have to get done and think about the progress we made just in the year through Covid even.

And I was going to show you — so this is our sensor obviously [holds up sensor]. There was nothing that I saw at the show that was the size that was anywhere near that. The number one comment that we got through everybody was like, “Wow, even with an FPGA [field-programmable gate array] right now, without even doing an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit], this is where your size is? And at this frame rate, at these kind of features?” 

So I’m happy about our path. I’m happy where we are and we’re going to continue focusing on that. But I don’t see any… Nothing is signed yet. Nothing is done. Nobody’s announced the start of production. People say they’re expecting start of production in XYZ year. But mark lidar, you can go in there and look that up and the models that they’re talking about — the OEMs are declaring there’s no model. So I’m not really sure what people are talking about. So I’ll leave you with that.

Companies are also saying that some lidars are not going to have the kind of frame rate that’s truly needed, the features that are truly needed to enable autonomous driving. That they might be kind of at the low end of the spectrum with safety features. What are your thoughts? Will the market shake out in that way?

I think the market’s going to shake out. I think one thing you said at the beginning, when we first started talking was ‘consolidation is along the way.’ You can think about what just recently was announced… there were two things announced… One was of course with Ouster (NYSE:OUST), the other one was Veoneer (NYSE:VNE).

You can see ADAS space. Let’s talk about not lidar [but] ADAS space. A lot of consolidation is going to continue happening. Because this is a big market, it is a big opportunity for lots of different things to shake out. So beyond that, I think, who’s going to end up where. You figure out who’s got the best technology, who’s got the best credentials and pedigree and the rest will kind of shake itself out.

Where do you think we are in terms of the cost curve right now? How close is MicroVision towards optimized production and how do you get there?

Well, what we have right now in our product is an FPGA. Of course, we’ve done mainly ASICs in our history as a company. So going to an ASIC is for us more like a muscle memory rather than anything new. We can certainly start transitioning to a ASIC product and [for] our A-Sample to be ready for SOP [start of production]. But once the ASIC is there, when I look at the product, I look at the cost structures right now, they meet what the future requirements are going to be. It’s all about scaling. It’s all about how many sensors can you aggregate in a single design. Therefore, you get the economy of scale. If you have OEMs that are looking at 50,000 [or] 100,000 units a year, that does not scale to the ASIC where the cost comes down. Now when you start getting to like 1.5 million, 1.2 million — now investing in an ASIC program totally makes sense. Because if you want to do the right ASIC, you want to do a seven nanometer ASIC, it’s going to cost you some.

But you have to justify it, because that’s a pretty big expense you’re going to take on. This is where Mobileye of course is ahead, right? Because they have the volumes, therefore they have those generations of ASICs. We can do those ASICs of course… But lidar companies are trying to find that sweet spot where they are going to be able to provide a product at the right price point. I feel comfortable where we are. We have a 200 millimeter wafer for our MEMS already. So I mean, that’s scaled. As far as the steering system is concerned, it’s all electronics. Whenever I show anybody what’s inside here, whenever [I have] any of these meetings, my pitch is actually very, very simple. And it always resonates. Let me just tell you what it is.

I open it up and show them like, “Look, everything inside here is something you know. It’s silicon, it’s glass, it’s plastic, it’s metal. There’s nothing exotic. It’s everything you’re familiar with. The magic part is of course our IP that we’ve created. We take those same components that you can buy — [the] same laser, same sensor — and we can create these features.”

And of course, you have the pedigree, as we filed in the last [quarter]. We’ve done this for bigger companies before, with the reliability [and] with the cost targets. So there’s nothing exotic. But yet, all the features that nobody else can meet right now… the exotic part is in our software [and] in our silicon. Which is of course, our great set of engineers that keep creating these features. And every time that resonates, because it gets them comfortable. Because it’s now they understand there’s nothing that I’m selling to them… They can look at [it] themselves, they can get their arms around the technology. But the exotic part of course is our IP. What this company has done over such a long time in all these different spaces.

So when you talk about cost, the reason why so calmly I can say “Cost is contained” is because what’s inside there anybody can price out… When somebody creates a custom SPAD line or custom VCSEL [vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser] line, they’re investing a lot of their investors’ money making custom lasers. They’re trying to find a way to have a foothold so they can charge margin. In this case, software and silicon — that’s the magic. Anybody can have those components. But you need our software and our IP to make it happen.

We’ve talked a lot about automotive lidar. There’s a lot of activity there. But MicroVision is actually sitting squarely in another interesting market — augmented reality. You’ve talked about Microsoft and the HoloLens relationship. Can you update us on what’s going on in that space?

I think [the] AR space is developing. I think until a big OEM — and now you have Goliaths of OEMs, there’s not 34 OEMs globally, there’s Goliaths, right? As they enter, as they expand the market, AR… will become part of our life. And actually, as a matter of fact, it has already become part of life. If you have a new iPhone, if you have a new iPad, if you have a Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) device, if you have a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) device — if you think about all these devices, [they] are already starting to bring AR into our lives slowly. Now, a head-mounted display is again the holy grail. Something that you can create an experience that you may not be able to create otherwise. So as that happens, I believe AR is going to become part of life. When that happens, of course, none of us control OEMs in that space.

Now, where’s MicroVision? Well, we already have a 2K display. In August last year, we did a video of a 720p — something that could actually fit inside with a wide field of view. It’s the technology we already have. It’s actually our Gen 3 MEMS [that] was in there. So we can clearly do above and beyond what anybody else is offering out there. So North got acquired [by Google]. Other companies are in that space. I already have technology that can do bigger and better than them in [the] AR space. But the issue is the OEMs have to decide what experience they want to deliver to the consumer. How do they actually… see the market developing? So right now if you think about AR, it’s still early experimentations, early times. I would say it’s earlier than the lidar space.

But again, we are so far ahead of that one, we don’t really have to invest that much because we can just sit on what we’ve already created. There’s always need for innovation, but the innovation we have [is] something that is already cost reduced, can fit on top of your head and [a] nice pair of frames — like the Ray-Ban frames or something similar, good industrial design. We also have the helmet-mounted, which is going to have unbelievable specifications for… commercial industrial product[s], certainly in [the] military as well. So all that is already there. That’s in our suite already and that’s part of our IP we’ve created over 20 years. So as far as AR is concerned, I think MicroVision knows a lot more about that because we were in that space for a long time. And of course our lidar is now. That, I believe, the market is seeing right now. So AR will be part of our lives… I sit and wait as well to see when the OEMs will let us know.

Speaking of now, investors are very much focused on timing. And I think there has been some frustration that it’s too early, that this isn’t really a viable market until next year or possibly later. So I would love to get your take on timing. When [do] you think big selections might take place? When could companies like yourself begin to really be shipping in volumes to OEMs?

As I mentioned to you, right after the Munich show, we were already seeing a lot more activity on RFI directed to us. So clearly, RFI, RFPs, going to RFQs are [in] play. But if you think about all the lidar companies, there’s going to be consolidation. And the comment I started off with — if you think about ADAS and what has [happened] with Veoneer, Hella, all these companies — that consolidation is going to continue. So there is a lot opportunity as far as investors are concerned. Of course, the company with the best technology, cost structure, its own IP, there’s a path forward where they can win. Traditional revenue, traditional EBITDA… But also there’s this other opportunity, which I’ve never taken it off the table: strategic alternatives. That’s always there. I think [if] the company that’s there has revenues… if they are multiple years out, there’s always a choice. And if you solve a very difficult problem and it is important for somebody to own your technology rather than work with you — those are things that we’re open to hear [at] MicroVision. The board is always open to that.

So the way I look at it, if you and I have this conversation several years down the line, you will say the number lidar companies we’ll talk about is shrinking. And eventually I do believe… it’s going to be about three companies that’s going to end up there. Maybe as many as five — recently, just yesterday somebody said, “Maybe it could be five.” So three to five is where it’s going to consolidate. And to think about this — if you’re going to be in the automotive space, think about what happened with airbags over such a long period of time.

It’s a safety device. It has to consolidate. Everybody’s going to be part of the supply chain at the right level… I think that’s what I expect the future to be. People want revenues, “When is it going to kick off?” Well, when somebody does a joint-development agreement with you in the automotive space, they want something specific for you. It is still multiple years to get it qualified. We could be done with our technology, but qualifying a vehicle takes a lot. There’s regulations that you have to go through. There’s regulations that have to follow through with, right?

So we’re learning a lot about that. Of course also, we’re doing testing on our [own] test tracks… It’s good to be early, as in the technology’s ready, you can show the viability, the cost advantage. And then of course [you have to] work with their timelines. And in the meantime, consolidation is always there.

You’re obviously managing a business and not the stock. But many of the lidar stocks have pulled back recently. I think a lot of it is this kind of frustration around timing. What do you think the market is missing? And what would you say to the retail investing audience that’s looking at this space?

I think you have to have patience. As in… if the entire stock market is going down because the Fed is about to do something or not do something… you can’t hold a lidar company responsible for the entire market. That’s number one. [And] we are on Russell. So we have the same ebbs and flow that the market is seeing. So you’re just going to have to… take a deep breath and step back.

But the company — I can certainly tell you, I go beyond my way, like in these earnings call[s]. I do put a lot of things out there. I give as much clarity as possible [to] give them something… a foundation to form their thoughts about their investment thesis. So, as far as timing, if there was something I knew, I would certainly get on the call and I would announce that.

But I think right now, the ebbs and flow of the market are taking place. There are choices coming next year. The OEMs and Tier Ones are active and we are active and so are our competitors. And we tend to remain active. That’s why companies like us and our competitors have raised enough money. Because you have to ride out these waves. You have to actually go ahead and… focus on getting a deal done because that actually does unlock value — significant value — for shareholders immediately. Because you want to start seeing, “Who’s going to be the final three companies?” And the only way that’s going to be evidenced is not by a joint-development agreement that any company did, by saying who’s going to work SOP. The evidence they have is… I have a sensor right now that I can show you [and] you can say, “Well, I can see it fitting inside my car.” We’ve had the discussion with folks that say, “Well, I need two of these per car.” So as you can imagine… OEMs specifically are evaluating based on regulation, based on the feature[s] they want to deliver to their customers. What are the different choices, right? And you just have to go along the ride with them.

I know patience as investors is hard. But again, if you think about the value that’s here and if it’s a short-term gain up and down, running the market — no CEO, no company can do anything about that. We have to stay neutral. We give all the information that’s pertinent to the market… The ebbs and flows I think are more market related. They’re not lidar specific.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Let’s continue the discussion. Email me at

On the date of publication, Joanna Makris did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Joanna Makris is a Market Analyst at A strategic thinker and fundamental public equity investor, Joanna leverages over 20 years of experience on Wall Street covering various segments of the Technology, Media, and Telecom sectors at several global investment banks, including Mizuho Securities and Canaccord Genuity.

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