On June 13th, Silicon Valley startup Luminar developed a new laser radar sensing kit below $500.
On June 13th, Silicon Valley startup Luminar developed a new liDAR sensing kit below $500. If more automakers use this sensor kit, the first highly automated cars for consumers are expected to be available in 2022 at the earliest.
The high cost of liDAR is one of the main obstacles to the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles, whether it is a commercial delivery and self-driving taxi fleet that is being developed by manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors, or a consumer-oriented passenger vehicle. . At present, the price of individual sensors is as low as about $6,000 and up to $100,000.
Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell said the company has developed a low-cost lidar platform that integrates hardware and software and is currently being tested by multiple automakers.
Luminar's latest "Iris" system is available in two versions: one is a "automobile freewheeling" version that is hands-free; the other version is cheaper and can perform some automation functions such as automatic emergency steering and braking. Russell said that the first version has a higher output and sells for less than $1,000. The second version is docked to the car manufacturer's Advanced Auxiliary Driving System (ADAS), which is expected to sell for less than $500.
Given the high cost and complexity of autonomous driving systems, automakers and suppliers are now increasingly skeptical about the popularity of fully automated driving systems. At the same time, they have begun to focus on deploying more ADAS features. ADAS shares some of the components with the fully automated driving system, but at a much lower cost, and can create the much-needed revenue from the manufacturer to pay for the development of a fully automated driving system.
Steve Lambright, vice president of marketing for liDAR startup AEye, says that manufacturers can more easily generate revenue and deploy easier on lidar-driven ADAS systems than fully automated systems. AEye also develops components for the fully automated driving system and ADAS.
At the same time, from a recent investment and acquisition transaction, a long-awaited shuffling of the lidar industry has not yet emerged, even if the industry has not embraced a single lidar technology.
Israeli startup Innoviz has just completed Series C financing, raising a total of $252 million, more than any other rival, including SoftBank Ventures Asia and several large Chinese investors.
A new company in the liDAR industry called Sense Photonics, which completed Series A financing this week, raised more than $43 million in funding, including corporate investors such as Samsung Ventures and Shell Ventures.
Aurora, a Silicon Valley autonomous driving startup, has invested in Amazon and Hyundai, which recently acquired Blackmore, a liDAR startup based in Montana. And OURS Technology, SiLC Technologies
Like the company, Blackmore is developing a more expensive liDAR technology, the FMCW. Sih CEO Mehdi Asghari said that FMCW uses higher parts and components, but the equipment consumes less power and can be made more compact, eventually being used in automotive headlights, rearview mirrors, and In the body.