Velodyne Lidar announced an agreement with Nikon Corporation, under which Sendai Nikon Corporation, a Nikon subsidiary, will manufacture lidar sensors for Velodyne with plans to start mass production in the second half of 2019. The partnership cements Velodyne’s manufacturing plan and expands its lead in the global lidar sensor market.

Nikon invested $25M in Velodyne last year and now aims to combine Nikon’s optical and precision technologies with Velodyne’s lidar sensor technology. Since the investment, both companies have been investigating a business alliance that includes collaboration in technology development and manufacturing.

This manufacturing agreement represents the initial phase of the Velodyne/Nikon business alliance. The companies will continue to investigate further areas of a wide-ranging and multifaceted business alliance.