Valeo, the global leader in advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), has introduced its third-generation scanning LiDAR system set for market debut in 2024. The new technology offers significantly enhanced performance, makes autonomous mobility a reality and provides previously unseen levels of road safety.
Geoffrey Bouquot, Valeo’s senior vice president for 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 since we already are 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.”
Valeo’s third-generation LiDAR delivers unrivaled 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. Compared to the previous generation, the resolution has been increased 17-fold, the range 3-fold and the viewing angle 2.5-fold.
Thanks to its unique perception capabilities, the new LiDAR can 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 completely manage emergency situations autonomously.
Valeo’s scanning LiDAR detects, recognizes and classifies all objects located around the vehicle. 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 necessary safety maneuvers.
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, Valeo’s LiDAR will alert, via the Cloud, other vehicles of road hazards 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 instantly make the right decision. The system 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). Nearly 400 people at Valeo are dedicated solely to this technology, for which over 500 patents have already been filed.
Valeo was the first and to date remains the only company to produce a scanning LiDAR on an industrial scale. It has already produced over 150,000 units, and 99 percent of cars equipped with a scanning LiDAR worldwide are equipped with a Valeo scanning LiDAR.
Up to 30 percent 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 agricultural, 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.
Valeo’s new third-generation LiDAR will be a key contributor to this change in scale.