Velodyne Lidar has reportedly hired bankers to help the company go public. Reports suggest an IPO could happen later this year if market conditions are suitable.

Velodyne Lidar reportedly hopes to be valued at more than USD1.8bn. The company says it is the leading supplier of lidar sensors to the automotive industry with more than 250 customers globally.

Velodyne Lidar provides solutions for autonomy and driver assistance. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Velodyne is known for its portfolio of breakthrough lidar sensor technologies. In 2005, Velodyne claims that its founder and CEO, David Hall, invented real-time surround view lidar systems, 'revolutionizing perception and autonomy for automotive, new mobility, mapping, robotics, and security'. Velodyne's high-performance product line includes a broad range of sensing solutions.

Velodyne lasers can build machine-readable, three-dimensional maps of a vehicle's environment that are essential infrastructure for autonomous vehicle control systems.

In April, Velodyne said it had signed an agreement with Japanese manufacturer Nikon to mass-produce lidar sensors. Sendai Nikon Corporation, a Nikon subsidiary, will manufacture lidar sensors for Velodyne with plans to start mass production in the second half of 2019.

"Mass production of our high-performance lidar sensors is key to advancing Velodyne's immediate plans to expand sales in North America, Europe, and Asia," said Marta Hall, President and CBDO, Velodyne Lidar. "With this partnership, Velodyne affirms its leadership role in designing, producing, and selling lidar for worldwide implementation. For years, Velodyne has been perfecting lidar technology to produce thousands of lidar units for autonomous vehicles (AVs) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). It is our goal to produce lidar in the millions of units with manufacturing partners such as Nikon."