Solid State Automotive LiDAR Market size is expected to exhibit lucrative growth over the forecast period due to the growing popularity of autonomous vehicles and the huge investment from the automotive sector for developing and commercializing autonomous vehicle technology. The automotive industry has been disrupted by game changing technologies over the last decade which include driverless car prototypes and Automotive ECU (Electronic Control Units) Solid state LiDAR technology is expected to accelerate the large-scale autonomous vehicle commercialization over the next ten years.
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technology which emits a laser pulse beam onto the target with defined intensity and focus and measures the arrival time of the reflected beam by photodiodes within the receiving sensor. The technology is being explored for a wide range of applications in the automotive sector including fully automated driving, parking assistance, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Some of the major drawbacks of early LiDAR systems are high cost, weather sensitivity and bulky size. Also, LiDAR systems consist of moving parts such as rotating mirrors. Solid-state LiDAR systems, as the name suggests, contain no moving parts and score high on the robustness level required by stringent automotive standards. New solid-state LiDARs are being designed by manufacturers to solve the cost, reliability, size, and complexity issue of mechanical scanning LiDARs. Due to their low cost, it is possible to combine two or more sensors to cost-effectively enhance the field-of-view coverage.
Some of the potential advantages of solid-state LiDAR systems for the automotive applications are automated tolling, vehicle measurement and profiling, vehicle to infrastructure communication, speed enforcement and monitoring and real-time traffic monitoring and control. The evolution of early LiDAR systems into solid-state LiDAR technology is primarily drive by next-generation sensors that contain no moving parts on the micro and macro scale. This ensures highest level of longevity, dependability, reliability, performance, and cost efficiency.
Europe, being a hub for numerous global automotive manufacturers is expected to lead the solid-state automotive LiDAR market over the forecast timeline. German automotive companies such as BMW and Audi are increasingly focusing on incorporating advanced LiDAR technology in their vehicles to facilitate enhanced safety of the passengers. In March 2018, BMW i Ventures, a venture capital fund which focuses on finding and supporting next-generation technology companies invested in Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc., a U.S.-based technology company involved in developing LiDAR technology for the automotive industry. The funds will be used to increase the production of Blackmore's FMWC LIDAR sensor that are used for advanced driver assistance systems.
The companies operating in the solid-state automotive LiDAR market are aggressively involved in technology innovation to commercialize next-generation LiDAR systems in the automotive sector. For instance, In January 2018, Innoviz Technologies, an Israel-based technology company involved in development of sensing solutions for automotive applications, launched the InnovizPro, a stand-alone, solid-state, MEMS-based scanning LiDAR solution which offers a long detection range of up to 150 meters. Similarly, in September 2017, AEye Inc, a technology company involved in the development of advanced vision hardware and software solutions announced the completion of a successful live demo of its 360° Solid State LiDAR System for autonomous vehicle application. It is a first commercial solid-state LiDAR system capable of 360° coverage and real-time software configurability. Some of the companies operating in the solid-state automotive LiDAR market are, Innoviz, Quanergy, LeddarTech, Innovusion, Infineon Technologies, Velodyne LiDAR, Continental AG, Delphi Automotive, AEye, Benewake, Cepton, Luminar and Robosense.