Cheaper LiDAR Sensor Brings Trade Offs

The cost of LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles is decreasing, with one company claiming the first $100 unit.

Naturally, Velodyne’s Velabit is not able to cover 360-degree capability of previous spinning sensors, costing around $10,000 a piece, but at an estimated 10 units a vehicle, it represents a considerable saving to the AV maker. However, this cheaper sensor comes withtrade offs claiming a range of just 328 feet, whereas existing sensors have a range of up to 820 feet, widely considered the benchmark for LiDAR systems. It also only has a 60-degree field of view, much narrower than the wide-angle LiDAR sensor German automotive supplier giant Bosch announced earlier this week.

That said, it’s smaller than a deck of playing cards, meaning it could be integrated into front or rear bumpers or on the side of vehicles. The sensor has been designed for use in current vehicles with ADAS fitted, enabling features such as blind spot monitoring, emergency braking, and pedestrian or cyclist detection. The sensor will be available to customers in mid-2020.

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