Alternatives to LiDAR are possible, but the industry is already committed

Automakers are largely agreed that LiDAR will be required for AVs. Whilst alternatives are possible, it will be essential to ensure sufficient redundancy. By Xavier Boucherat

The close partnerships and tie-ups that have emerged between LiDAR developers and automakers underline the industry’s commitment to the technology. A hand-in-hand approach has helped automakers develop LiDAR solutions specific to their platforms, helping to tackle cost. For example, Volvo’s investment in Luminar means it could have LiDAR-equipped cars on the road by 2022. Luminar says it is aiming for US$500 a unit. Similarly, in October 2020, Tel Aviv-based Innoviz—which works with BMW and Magna—announced it had built a LiDAR 70% cheaper than its previous unit, which will be available from Q3 2021 onwards.

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