First 4D LiDAR on Chip for Autonomous Driving
December 24, 2019
Autonomous vehicle tech firm Aeva has developed a 4D LiDAR-on-chip that reduces the size and power consumption of a LiDAR system. The Mountain View company says the new Aeries chip achieves full range performance of over 300m for low reflective objects, and has the ability to measure instant velocity for every point -- which it claims as a first in the autonomous vehicle industry. The new chip will deliver LiDAR for less than $500 compared to tens of thousands for today's LiDAR sensors.
Porsche SE, a majority voting shareholder of Volkswagen Group, which includes Audi, recently invested in Aeva. The investment is Porsche SE’s only investment in LiDAR technology and expands on the existing partnership between Aeva and Audi’s self-driving unit.
“One of the biggest roadblocks to bringing autonomous vehicles to the mainstream has been the lack of a high-performance and low-cost LiDAR that can scale to millions of units per year,” said Soroush Salehian, Co-Founder of Aeva. “From the beginning we’ve believed that the only way to truly address this problem was to build a unique LiDAR-on-chip sensing system that can be manufactured at silicon scale.”
“Not all FMCW LiDARs are created equally,” said Mina Rezk, Co-Founder of Aeva. “A key differentiator of our approach is breaking the dependency between maximum range and points density, which has been a barrier for time-of-flight and FMCW LiDARs so far. Our 4D LiDAR integrates multiple beams on a chip, each beam uniquely capable of measuring more than 2 million points per second at distances beyond 300m.”
“We have scanned the market closely and believe Aeva’s 4D LiDAR on a chip technology is the best LiDAR solution on the market, solving a fundamental bottleneck for perception in taking autonomous driving to mass scale,” said Alex Hitzinger, Senior VP of Autonomous Driving at VW Group and CEO of VW Autonomy GmbH. “Together we are looking into using Aeva’s 4D LiDAR for our VW ID Buzz AV, which is scheduled to launch in 2022/23.”