Valeo presents its third generation scanning LiDAR.
Today Valeo presented its third generation scanning LiDAR, set to make its market debut in 2024. They say the new technology offers significantly enhanced performance, and provides previously unseen levels of road safety.
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 strengthened 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.”
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. Compared to the previous generation, the resolution increased 12-fold, the range 3-fold and the viewing angle 2.5-fold.
Valeo says its unique perception capabilities allow this new LiDAR to see things that humans, cameras and radars cannot. This means that driving can be delegated to the vehicle in many situations (level 2 automation and above), including on the highway at speeds of up to 130km/h. Even in such situations, a vehicle fitted with the third-generation scanning LiDAR can manage emergencies autonomously.
Valeo’s scanning LiDAR detects, recognizes 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. In addition, 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.
Thanks to these features, the scanning LiDAR protects people inside the car and those around it – pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Beyond the vehicles it equips, this LiDAR will alert other vehicles of road hazards via the Cloud so that the community benefits from its exceptional perception capabilities.
Valeo designs and manufactures the entire system, including the hardware, the software and the associated artificial intelligence, the “brain” that combines collected data and enables the vehicle to make the right decision instantly. In addition, its software automatically adapts to the environment and improves its performance over time through regular updates.
Valeo’s LiDARs are produced in Germany at Valeo’s Wemding plant in Bavaria, where components are assembled with a micron level of precision. The plant’s production lines draw on Valeo’s state-of-the-art expertise in optics, mechanics and photonics (the branch of physics that focuses on the emission and detection of light particles or photons). 300 engineers at Valeo are dedicated solely to this technology, for which over 500 patents have already been filed.
Valeo was the first and remains the only company to produce a scanning LiDAR on an industrial scale. It has already produced over 150,000 units and 99% of cars equipped with a scanning LiDAR scanner worldwide are equipped with a Valeo scanning LiDAR.
Up to 30% of premium new vehicles are set to reach level 3 automation by 2030, and to do so will need to be equipped with LiDAR technology. As well as cars, autonomous shuttles, robotaxis, delivery droids, autonomous trucks or the agriculture, mining and infrastructure sectors will need to be equipped with one or more LiDARs. The LiDAR market is expected to represent more than $50 billion by 2030.