ams has announced that it has signed an agreement to team with Ibeo Automotive Systems, the German specialist for automotive LiDAR sensor technology, and ZF Friedrichshafen, one of the largest technology companies for mobility worldwide to advance solid-state LiDAR technology for use in autonomous driving and other applications. The three companies will partner on joint R&D efforts to ensure that this technology can be quickly and safely adopted by 2021.
LiDAR is an optical sensing technology that measures distance and direction of the surrounding objects by illuminating them with a laser beam and detecting the reflection of the object. Its range and resolution properties complement radar and camera solutions to enable the ‘Holy Grail’ of the self-driving car industry - SAE level 5 or fully autonomous driving.
ams will provide automotive-grade VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) arrays and drivers which provide reliability and stability compared to competing light sources, such as edge emitters and LED. ams is the first to market with solid-state LiDAR illumination solutions, meaning no mechanical parts are needed to steer the light beam direction, improving reliability while reducing complexity, size, weight, and cost. Due to the high reliability and small form factor, solid-state LiDAR paves the way for massive LiDAR deployment in the automotive segment.
“LiDAR is already a key technology in the automotive sector, and to date our leading products are used with automotive companies in Europe and worldwide. The combination of our solution know-how with ams’ VCSEL technology will create a tipping point for solid-state LiDAR in the automotive sector,” said Dr. Ulrich Lages, CEO, Ibeo Automotive Systems.
“As a world leader in electric mobility and autonomous driving solutions for the automotive industry, our global capabilities and deep knowledge of integrated safety, motion control and digitalisation bring a unique aspect in taking LiDAR to the next level on a global scale. This joint activity will help make autonomous driving a safe and secure reality globally,” said Aine Denari, Senior Vice President, Global Electronics ADAS, ZF.
“Being the first to market with solid-state LiDAR means ams brings a unique capability to Ibeo and ZF,” said Alexander Everke, CEO, ams. “Together with Ibeo’s leading solutions and integration capability, coupled with its deep experience in LiDAR we will provide an unmatched solution for automotive manufacturers in their quest to create the mission-critical reliability required for autonomous driving.”