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INTERVIEW WITH Abhijit Thatte, SVP of Software Engineering and AI, AEye

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Nominee for Collaborative Partnership of the Year

My name is Abhijit Thatte and I am SVP of Software Engineering and AI at AEye. I lead the research and development of artificial intelligence, deep learning, and perception software products.

What's so unique about our partnership with Tata Elxsi is that we’ve evolved from a typical client-service provider relationship to a very tight knit partnership. Tata Elxsi shares AEye’s risks and AEye makes sure that Tata Elxsi gets a share of the rewards. We each have our own expertise, and we found a great point of overlap and were able to expand on that capability. With this tremendous amount of idea and information exchange, we are able to do more, together. When it comes to autonomous technologies, there is much to learn. Our partnership with Tata Elxsi is accelerating the industry’s learning curve.


Abhijit Thatte is SVP of Software Engineering and AI, bringing over two decades of software product development experience to AEye from the robotics, industrial, medical, and finance industries. Previously, Abhijit was the VP of Artificial Intelligence at Aricent, Director of Software Engineering at Varian Medical Systems, and the Head of Data Science at GE, where he lead new cognitive product development for the Internet of Things using AI, big data, cloud computing, machine learning, and connected devices. He holds a Masters in Information and Data Science from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of the Forbes Technology Council: an invitation-only organization for senior-level technology executives.


AEye is the creator of iDAR™(Intelligent Detection and Ranging), the premier artificial perception platform for vehicle autonomy, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and robotic vision. iDAR takes solid-state agile LiDAR, fuses it with a low-light HD camera, then integrates artificial intelligence to create a smart, software definable platform for more reliable artificial perception. With agile, active targeting and intelligence at the edge of the network, the iDAR platform quickly scans a scene, extracting only the data that matters—without missing anything. This scalable, software definable approach allows the system to capture more intelligent information with less data, enabling faster, more accurate, and more reliable perception and path planning—key to the safe rollout of autonomous vehicles.


AEye’s iDAR™ (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) fuses 1550 nanometer, solid-state agile MOEMS LiDAR, a low-light HD camera, and embedded AI to intelligently capture data at the sensor level. Using a distributed architecture and edge processing, iDAR dynamically tracks targets and objects of interest, while always critically assessing general surroundings. By combining software extensibility, AI and smart, agile sensors, iDAR is able to capture more intelligent information with less data, for optimal performance and safety.

Today’s autonomous vehicle initiatives are largely restricted to low-speed, geofenced deployments in well-mapped, carefully selected terrain. iDAR enables autonomous vehicles to “search, acquire, and act” as humans do. Unlike standard LiDAR, AEye’s agile LiDAR is situationally adaptive so that it can modify scan patterns and trade resources such as power, update rate, resolution, and range. This enables iDAR to dynamically utilize sensor resources to optimally search a scene, efficiently identify and acquire critical objects, and determine the appropriate course of action.

By designing a perception system that more intelligently acquires and adapts data, AEye enables self-driving cars to obtain more intelligent information faster, quickening time-to-reaction. By enabling fast, accurate perception, iDAR furthers the advancement of autonomous vehicles.