Automotive News Canada - October 2017 - 14
* OCTOBER 2017
$130M boost for Quebec lidar developer
The operation includes
27 scientists working on
technology that helps
vehicles 'see' where
By BENOIT CHARETTE
AFTER RECEIVING ITS LARGEST
capital infusion to date, Quebec City
lidar developer LeddarTech Inc. plans
to enhance its development efforts,
expand its research-and-development
team and accelerate ongoing lidar
development programs with select
Tier-1 automotive customers for rapid
On Sept. 7, LeddarTech announced
the completion of a combined investment of $130 million led by Osram
of Germany and including Delphi,
Magneti Marelli and Integrated Device
Technology Inc. as strategic investors,
as well as Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
"It is very rare for a startup company to have such high-profile inves-
It is very rare for a startup
company to have such high-profile
investors with an international
tors with an international reputation.
It means a lot for us to have the confidence of those people and is very promising for the future," said LeddarTech
CEO Charles Boulanger.
LeddarTech is the developer and
owner of Leddar, a patented lidar (light
detection and ranging) sensing technology that can detect, locate and measure objects and people in a given field
of vision. It works at distances of up to
300 metres to provide real-time information to a vehicle computer for decision making. The Leddar technology, first developed for traffic analysis, went to a mobile-analysis mode by
being integrated in a vehicle.
Among its 80 employees,
LeddarTech has 27 engineers and scientists working at the intersection of
optics, mechanics, electronics and software.
Boulanger said Leddar offers lower
pricing and the ability for partners to
customize systems to their own specifications. The LeddarTech system will
cost about $100, making it affordable
for mainstream vehicles, he said.
LeddarTech's lidar technology
locates and measures objects
up to 300 metres from a vehicle.
LeddarTech CEO Charles
Boulanger says the
company has commercial
projects with its investors.
"As the world's leading provider
of sensor lights for autonomous vehicles, OSRAM Licht AG is very pleased
to endorse and participate in the tremendous promise of the Leddar technology alongside this impressive group
of key industry players," said Stefan
Kampmann, chief technology officer at
Lidar is used and integrated by
automakers along with radar, cameras
and GPS for the development of autonomous and semiautonomous vehicles. Over the past decade, technology
has proven that it can be used in all
weather conditions, which is a major
obstacle for many of the current systems, says Pierre Olivier, vice-presi-
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dent of engineering and production at
"We have demonstrated the reliability of the technology, regardless of the
Boulanger said LeddarTech has
commercial agreements with the partners.
"For example, we will present at
the next Las Vegas [CES] an integrated module with IDT [integrated device
technology]." IDT coordinates the signals from different on-board electronic
"We have to grab the opportunities
because we are the only company with
this proprietary technology, so the
time is now." - ANC
iA Financial buys two U.S.
deal is subject to
By JIM HENRY
NEW YORK CORRESPONDENT
ONE OF CANADA'S
biggest vehicle service-contract insurance companies
stands to more than double
its business in extended-service contracts with the proposed acquisition of two
privately owned U.S. companies, SouthwestRe and
Dealers Alliance Corp.
Quebec City-based iA
Financial Group reported direct written premiums of $197 million from
in Canada in 2016. With the
U.S. acquisition that number
would increase to around
$500 million, the company
The acquisition, valued
at $168 million, is subject
to regulatory approval. The
company expects the deal
to close in the fourth quarter. Last year, iA Financial
Group said it got just three
per cent of its total premiums and deposits from the
United States, in all product
lines, not just those that are
Founded in 1985,
SouthwestRe is based in
Albuquerque, N.M. The company issues and administers
vehicle service contracts and
related products, with a specialty in reinsurance. That's
where a dealer forms a reinsurance company and contributes to reserves; that is,
the dealer sets money aside
to pay for claims expected in
SouthwestRe serves about
800 franchised dealers and
2,000 independent used-car
dealers, according to iA
Dealers Alliance Corp. is
based in Columbus, Ohio.
It was started in 1977 by a
group of Ohio dealers as
an extended-service contract provider and administrator. In 1980, Dealers
Alliance acquired an existing insurance company and
changed its name to Dealers
Assurance Co., which is now
licensed in all 50 U.S. states.
DAC provides insurance
products in property and
casualty, as well as extended-service contract lines.