2017 saw something of a milestone for automotive sensor technology – the unveiling of the world’s first production model fitted with a light detection and ranging sensor (LiDAR). The new Audi A8, unveiled in Barcelona in July 2017, features a unit produced by Valeo which the OEM believes will enable Level 3 autonomy. Drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel in traffic jam situations, whilst the vehicle handles acceleration, braking and turning under speeds of up to 60kph (37mph). Valeo has not been forthcoming with exact details on the scanner being used, but has been vocal on LiDAR developments in the past – its four-laser SCALA scanner, which it touts as the first ever built with automotive volumes in mind, has made appearances at shows and in demo vehicles since 2014….
The LiDAR outlook is rosy – the next challenge is sensor fusion
Continental believes LiDAR’s place will be secured within the next few years. Prior to full autonomy, there will be opportunities to improve ADAS offerings and cement autonomous capabilities, learns Xavier Boucherat