Compared to the previous generation technology, the new system sees a 12-fold improvement in resolution, while the range has improved 3-fold and the viewing angle 2.5-fold. The new LiDAR system will see a market launch in 2024.
Valeo, the makers of advanced driving assistance systems or ADAS, has revealed its third-generation LiDAR or Light Detection and Ranging system, to improve vehicle autonomous technology. The French auto-tech company says that the new technology offers significantly enhanced performance, makes autonomous mobility a reality and provides previously unseen levels of road safety. Compared to the previous generation technology, the new system sees a 12-fold improvement in resolution, while the range has improved 3-fold and the viewing angle 2.5-fold. The new LiDAR system will see a market launch in 2024.
Talking about the new-gen LiDAR technology, Geoffrey Bouquot, Valeo’s Senior Vice-President, R&D and Strategy said: “Valeo’s third-generation LiDAR is a major technological advance toward the autonomous vehicle. This upgrade strengthens Valeo’s technological and industrial leadership in the field when it was already the only supplier on the market currently series-producing an automotive-grade LiDAR scanner. Our number one goal with this device remains the same – to save lives on the road.”
The new system can deliver unrivalled performance in terms of range, resolution and frame rate. It reconstructs a 3D real-time image of the vehicle’s surroundings at a rate of 4.5 million pixels and 25 frames per second. In short, this new LiDAR can see things that humans, cameras and radars cannot, which essentially translated to better, more accurate autonomous systems (level 2 and above). Valeo says the technology works on the highway at speeds of up to 130kmph, and even at those speeds, a vehicle fitted with the third generation scanning LiDAR can manage emergency situations autonomously.
Valeo’s scanning LiDAR detects, recognises, and classifies all objects located around the car. If the objects are moving, it measures their speed and direction. The scanning LiDAR can adapt to all light conditions, whether it’s dazzlingly bright or pitch black. It even measures the density of raindrops to calculate the right braking distance. It tracks nearby vehicles, even when they are no longer in the driver’s line of sight and uses algorithms to anticipate their trajectories and trigger the necessary safety manoeuvres.
The entire system is designed and manufactured by Valeo in-house, including the hardware, the software and the associated artificial intelligence. With regular updates, the software can automatically adapt to the environment and improve its performance over time. The scanning LiDAR units will be produced in Germany at Valeo’s Wemding plant in Bavaria. 300 engineers at Valeo are dedicated solely to this technology, for which over 500 patents have already been filed.
Valeo says that 30 per cent of premium new vehicles with have level 3 automation by 2030, and LiDAR technology will be key to achieving that target. The company says that the LiDAR market is expected to represent more than $50 billion by the end of this decade, being used in cars, autonomous shuttles, robotaxis, delivery droids, autonomous trucks or the agriculture, mining and infrastructure sectors.