Valeo has introduced the third generation of its scanning LiDAR. The new LiDAR reconstructs a real-time 3D image of the vehicle environment with 4.5 million pixels and 25 frames per second.
This technology, which is significantly more powerful than the previous generation, is scheduled for market launch in 2024. Compared with the second generation, Valeo has increased the resolution by 12 times, the range by 3 times and the angle of view by 2.5 times.
The new LiDAR detects things that the human eye, a camera or radar cannot. This means that driving can be delegated to the vehicle in many situations - from automation level 2 upwards - including highway driving up to 130 km/h. Even there, a vehicle equipped with the new LIDAR scanner can handle emergency situations fully autonomously.
Valeo's scanning LiDAR detects, recognizes and classifies all objects in the vehicle's environment. For moving objects, it measures their speed and direction. The LiDAR scanner can adapt to all lighting conditions, even dazzling bright light and deepest darkness. It also measures how close raindrops fall to calculate the correct braking distance.
It is able to track vehicles in the vicinity - even when they are no longer in the driver's field of vision. The sensor uses algorithms to anticipate their further movements and trigger safety maneuvers if necessary. The LiDAR not only warns the vehicle in which it is installed of hazards on the road, but also - via the cloud - other vehicles.
Geoffrey Bouquot, Senior Vice-President R&D and Strategy at Valeo, says: »The third generation of Valeo's LiDAR is a decisive technological advance towards autonomous vehicles. With this upgrade, we are consolidating our leading market position in this technology area. This is because Valeo is the only supplier on the market with a scanning LiDAR for the automotive industry currently in volume production. Our ultimate goal with this technology has always been to save lives on the road.«
Valeo develops and manufactures the entire system, including the hardware, software and associated artificial intelligence that combines the collected data and enables the vehicle to make the right decision immediately. The software automatically adapts to the environment and continuously improves its performance through regular updates.
Valeo's LiDAR systems are produced at the Valeo plant in Wemding, Bavaria, where components are assembled with micrometer-level precision. Around 300 employees at Valeo work exclusively on this technology, for which the company has already registered over 500 patents.