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June 14, 2022

Stellantis buying Valeo 3G LiDAR

Vehicles to be certified for level 3 automation.

By Graeme Roberts

Valeo said Stellantis had chosen its third-generation LiDAR to equip multiple models of its different automotive brands from 2024.

The Scala 3 product will enable these vehicles to be certified for level 3 automation, allowing drivers to safely take their hands off the steering wheel and their eyes off the road.

Marc Vrecko, president of Valeo’s comfort & driving assistance systems business group, said: “Level 3 vehicle automation can only be achieved with LiDAR technology. Without it, some objects cannot be detected. Yet at this level of autonomy, the system’s perception capabilities must be extremely precise. Our third-generation LiDAR offers a resolution nearly 50 times that of the second-generation device. The technology comes with unique data collection features.”

The latest LiDAR sees everything, even when an object is far ahead and invisible to the human eye. It can identify objects more than 150 meters ahead that neither the human eye, cameras nor radars can, such as a small object with very low reflectivity or a tyre lying in the road. It recreates a 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings using a point cloud, with an as yet unparalleled resolution for an automotive system. It can map the ground topology and detect road markings.

The LiDAR also features embedded high performance software based on artificial intelligence algorithms, which enables it to steer the vehicle’s trajectory, anticipating obstacle-free zones on the road ahead. It can self-diagnose and triggers its cleaning system when its field of vision is obstructed. The technology is automotive grade, meaning that the data it generates remain fully reliable and accurate in all usage and weather conditions (from -40 up to +85°C). It stands as the key component in a sensor system enabling vehicles to achieve approval for SAE conditional driving automation (level 3), meeting the legal requirements of UN-R157.

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