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7 Best Lidar Stocks Will Skyrocket

Charlie Brooks

Apr 26, 2022 17:15


In the twenty-first century, one of the most intriguing technological advances has been the development of Lidar. 

LiDAR sensors are essential for autonomous driving, enhanced driver assistance systems, and the acquisition of 3D data for urban planning applications, among other things. 

Because of the durability of this approach, they are able to measure a wide range of distances, making lidar stocks attractive to investors.

What is Lidar?

Lidar is an acronym for "light detection and ranging," and it works by generating a three-dimensional rendering of an object or environment using short bursts of light from lasers. Lidar-equipped devices detect nearby objects and process massive amounts of data to determine their size, direction, and speed of movement — which is why Lidar has become a critical technology of the sensors that will enable self-driving cars to operate safely in the future.


Many people are unaware that Lidar is also used in the latest smartphones and other automated devices such as robot vacuum cleaners to scan the environment and navigate through a room.

Lidar is also widely used in a variety of scientific disciplines, including oceanography, archaeology, forestry, seismology, robotics, and atmospheric physics, for measurement and imaging. It's unsurprising that stocks in Lidar technology are attracting investor interest.

Lidar is a critical component of self-driving cars because it enables their computers to capture a three-dimensional image of their surroundings. The sensors determine the range or velocity of objects in a manner similar to radar: they bounce lasers off objects and then calculate the object's distance and velocity based on the light returned.

Companies developing self-driving cars, such as Alphabet's Waymo and General Motors' Cruise, use Lidar extensively in their self-driving systems. According to the report, Apple has chosen to outsource portions of its self-driving system, including lidar sensors.

The Benefits of Lidar

Due to the fact that light has a shorter wavelength than radio waves, Lidar has several advantages over comparable technologies such as radar. Lidar can provide a more detailed image of a target by transmitting repeated laser bursts.

For example, the Lidar sensors on some smartphones can provide users with near-instantaneous estimates of an object's size, shape, and distance, enabling more immersive augmented reality experiences.

Additionally, as the Internet of Things (IoT) progresses toward increasingly autonomous and connected machines, those devices will almost certainly require sophisticated sensors to operate safely and effectively, which is another reason why Lidar companies and Lidar stocks are attracting the attention of investors large and small.

The drawbacks of Lidar

Having said that, investors considering Lidar technology stocks should be aware of several drawbacks, as they could pose some investment risks. While Lidar technology can be extremely sophisticated, critics point out that some Lidar systems can lag in a more dynamic environment (e.g., driving in traffic), where rapid analysis of driving conditions is critical for safety.


Another disadvantage is that some Lidar sensors may weight all data points equally in a given environment, overlooking a more immediate danger such as an obstacle or inclement weather. For example, rainy or cloudy conditions and extremely bright sun can all impair the technology's fundamental light reflection and refraction.

The Different Types of Lidar Technology

Terrestrial LiDAR technology is used to collect data from the earth's surface using driving vehicles or tripods. Infrastructure, highway, and urban construction projects typically require precise data collection. LiDAR-equipped machines can accurately measure distances, object sizes, shapes, and terrain properties, which benefits contractors tremendously.

Terrestrial LiDAR systems are classified into mobile LiDAR and static LiDAR.

Airborne LiDAR systems are installed on data collection helicopters and drones. Airborne LiDAR transmits light from the aerial machines to the terrain's surface, which reverts to the LiDAR system's receiver almost instantly, providing distance measurements between the sensor and the surface.

Additionally, there are two subtypes of airborne LiDAR: topological and bathymetric. Topographic lidar maps and measures using an infrared laser. In comparison, bathymetric Lidar makes use of a green light that penetrates water to map and measure the seafloor and riverbed elevations.

LiDAR systems have aided scientists and mapping professionals in examining and calculating the terrain properties of natural and man-made environments. Thus, numerous shoreline maps and terrain elevation models are created and used for a variety of purposes. Several of these applications include geographic information systems and emergency response operations that make use of LiDAR data.

A lidar instrument is made up of three components: a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.

Is Investing in Lidar Stocks a Good Idea?

Lidar is critical for self-driving cars because it is the only way for the AI to create an image of the street, scan traffic signs, and recognize pedestrians, bicycles, and other road users. This puts LiDAR companies in a favorable position to benefit.

In 2021, Wall Street began to pay attention to auto technology stocks, and numerous young investors view auto technology as a long-term investment opportunity.

A dozen companies have committed to developing self-driving cars or artificial intelligence (AI) that improves driving efficiency, safety, and comfort.

Several of them are devoted to traffic analysis, data collection, and risk reduction strategies. This is a critical component of the self-driving vehicle goal that the technology industry is pursuing.


Other companies are developing wireless charging stations for electric vehicles. These stations function similarly to magnets, charging electric vehicles parked in a designated area. This is a critical step toward increasing the durability of electric and self-driving cars over longer distances.

Technology developers are eager to create more advanced and faster apps for mobile and smart devices that can communicate with the AI in the autonomous car, thereby increasing users' access to various car features, the quality and safety of their traveling experience.

Additionally, self-driving AI technology is constantly paired with virtual reality technology, enabling users to access visualization tools and physical navigation of their vehicle.

Best Lidar Stocks to Watch

1. Innoviz Technologies Ltd. (INVZ)

INVZ is an Israeli company that designs and manufactures solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software for automotive, robotics, mapping, drones, and other industries requiring vision to mass-produce autonomous vehicles.

INVZ recently partnered with Twinner, a German-based provider of vehicle scanners to the automotive industry. "At Innoviz, our mission is to raise the bar on transparency. Twinner's team shares a similar philosophy, and we're excited to work with them to integrate our high-resolution, solid-state LiDAR technology with their Digital Twinn solution," said Omer Keilaf, CEO and co-founder of INVZ.

Additionally, INVZ announced the launch of Innoviz360 last month, a patent-pending high-definition LiDAR architecture that enables multiple scanning software configurations at a significantly lower cost. Revenues from this innovative product line are expected to begin in 2023, and the new total addressable market (TAM) for all types of applications is expected to reach $75 billion by 2030.

In the third quarter of 2021, which ended September 30, INVZ's revenue increased 13.4 percent to $2.08 million years over year. Net financial income at INVZ increased 596.8 percent year over year to $3.74 million. Cash and cash equivalents increased 179.4 percent to $139.57 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2021. INVZ's total assets increased 382.5 percent to $350.14 million in nine months.

Analysts anticipate that INVZ's revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, will be $2 million, a 174.7 percent increase year over year.

The stock has gained 11.2 percent in the last five days to close at $4.16 yesterday.

INVZ was rated Buy by each of the three Wall Street analysts who rated it. The 12-month median price target of $10.00 implies a potential upside of 140.4 percent, and price targets range from $9.00 to $12.00.

2. Microvision (MVIS)

Microvision showcased a large reveal of its family of sensors following the April 2021 release of its A-sample hardware. Additionally, the company displayed several live demos and track testing images at IAA.

Microvision has asserted that its technology is the best in its class. However, investors will encounter difficulties when it comes to differentiating performance. There are no standardized specifications for "apples-to-apples" comparisons, and there is little evidence of consistent, independent testing. The majority of vendors cherry-pick their most advantageous technology features. And, despite several invitations from InvestorPlace readers to host the company for a Fireside Chat, the company appears to prefer secrecy for the time being. Having said that, show buzz centered on Microvision's custom ASICs, small form factor in comparison to competitors, and resistance to direct sunlight (a common problem for lidars).

As regular readers of InvestorPlace know, I like MVIS stock because it is a lidar and augmented reality (AR) play. There is speculation that the company is getting closer to winning a contract for its MicroHUD system for windshield displays in vehicles, augmented reality, and even surgery. There is an interesting activity trail at two MVIS-affiliated companies: Magna and Sharp-Foxconn. Notably, Magna recently received a patent referencing MicroHUD technology. Additionally, as part of this relationship, EV maker Fisker (NYSE: FSR) — which is collaborating with Sharp — may begin integrating the technology into its vehicles.

Additionally, there is widespread speculation that Microvision is getting closer to generating royalties from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is developing IVAS (integrated visual augmentation system) devices for the United States Army based on its HoloLens augmented reality headset. (The HoloLens is an augmented reality visor system that provides soldiers with a heads-up display similar to that found in video games over what they see in real life.)

Finally, CEO Sumit Sharma confirmed during the company's second-quarter earnings call that Microvision's technology is used in the Hololens 2. This is partly due to InvestorPlace readers who pressed for clarification and several images of reflective waveguides circulating on the Internet.

3. ON Semiconductor (ON ) 

ON Semiconductor's advanced technology targets image sensors, radar, and LIDAR to provide a variety of intelligent sensing solutions for automotive and autonomous perception. ON Semiconductor is well-positioned to benefit from the continued growth in image sensors and the advanced driver-assistance systems ("ADAS") domain. ON Semiconductor currently has a Zacks Rank #3. ON Semi's SiPM of the LIDAR platform provides a complete solution for low-cost, single-point LIDAR for industrial range finding. The firm's recent product launches, including image sensors for ADAS in the automotive end market for next-generation vehicle designs, bode well for the top line. Collaboration with South Korean LIDAR startup SOS LAB to accelerate the development of LIDAR technology for the automotive market is also expected to boost the firm's prospects. Over the next three to five years, the company expects to grow earnings per share at a rate of 5.3 percent.

4. Ouster (OUST)

Additionally, Ouster produces high-resolution digital lidar sensors. They are primarily used in industrial automation, smart infrastructure, and automotive industries.

For instance, Ouster signed a multi-year lidar agreement with Serve Robotics, an autonomous sidewalk delivery company. Now, Ouster will supply Serve Robotics with its OS1 digital sensors through 2023, enabling sidewalk delivery robots to navigate alongside pedestrians.

This week, Ouster released Q4 2021 metrics. Revenue increased 53% on a year-over-year basis to $11.9 million. The net loss has been reduced to $28 million. $13 million, compared to the prior-year quarter's net loss of $57 million. It reported gross margins of 30%, down from 31% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 24% in the third quarter of 2021.

Additionally, the group has partnered with Vecna Robotics to deliver 3,000 digital lidar sensors by 2025. Vecna is an automation company specializing in warehouse and logistics automation.

OUST stock is currently trading slightly above $3, representing a 78 percent decline in value over the last 12 months. Ouster's stock is expected to trade at a median price of $13 over the next 12 months.

5. Aeva

Aeva appears to be one of the best lidar stocks to buy at the moment. Using frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) technology, this company is currently developing sensors for autonomous vehicles. While that is a lengthy acronym, you need to know that it enables highly precise light detection over a wide range. According to Aeva, this enables detection up to 300 meters away, instantaneous velocity, and immunity to all forms of interference.

Due to its apparent undervaluation and strong growth stability, this stock is a buy right now. Although its share price is lower than a year ago, it has grown modestly since October 2021. The company's market capitalization exceeds $2 billion. However, while Lidar is still in its infancy, it currently has earnings per share (EPS) of -1.161.

Aeva's Q3 2021 earnings report contains a lot of red; on the plus side, it reported a 79 percent year-over-year (YOY) increase in earnings to $3.48 million. For context, it earned just $308K in Q1 2021 and $2.6 million in Q2. While the company has yet to generate a profit, its technology has the potential to significantly improve self-driving capability.

6. Velodyne Lidar (VLDR)

Velodyne Lidar (VLDR) is the market leader in LIDAR. David Hall founded it in 1983 as an audio company specializing in subwoofer technology. Nonetheless, Velodyne Lidar is currently engaged in a variety of other services, including the provision of sensors to clients in the mobility industry for testing and use in autonomous vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, mapping, robotics, infrastructure, and smart city applications.

In September 2020, the company went public via a SPAC. Velodyne Lidar's business model demonstrates significant diversity, with partnerships with Ford, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), and Hyundai Mobis.

Additionally, its operations span the spectrum of technology development. Apart from developing LiDAR for self-driving cars, the company is also working on sensors for artificial intelligence robots. Its 3D LiDAR technology won the robotics category of the 2020 Innovation Award. This technology is capable of being integrated into both drones and vehicles, and it is expected to become one of the most sought-after LiDAR systems in the industry.

The company's market capitalization is $0.73 billion as of February 22, 2021.

Velodyne Lidar is headquartered in San Jose, California, and has been trading on NASDAQ since September 30, 2020, under the ticker symbols VLDR and VLDRW.

7.  Quanergy Systems (NYSE: QNGY)

Quanergy Systems is a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of LiDAR sensors used in 3D mapping, social distancing, robotics, smart infrastructure, and self-driving systems.

It is also focused on growing its market share in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, which, according to Mordor Intelligence, could reach a market value of $1.40 trillion by 2026, up from $761 billion in 2020.

Although it began operations in 2012, it did not begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange until February 2022, following a reverse merger with CITIC Capital Acquisition Corp.

This transaction provided the business with at least $175 million in liquid assets, despite the fact that it already has an excellent financial position, as evidenced by nearly 20% year-over-year revenue growth.

It also benefited from strong leadership, particularly from CEO Kevin Kennedy, who grew the company's funding to more than $190 million during his tenure.

Because this is a brand-new stock, caution is warranted, but based on its prior financial performance and market performance, it has the potential to grow significantly.


The majority of publicly traded lidar sensors focus exclusively on sensor delivery to the automotive industry. From advanced driver assistance systems to fully autonomous self-driving cars and trucks, there is something for everyone. Laser-driven technology is gaining traction in a variety of industries, as evidenced by the growing number of organizations developing innovative applications for it. There are numerous considerations for investors when it comes to purchasing the best Lidar stocks. A substantial amount of market data indicates that robotics, IoT, and other technologies may experience rapid growth in the future.