Magneti Marelli and LeddarTech have entered into a technical and commercial cooperation agreement to jointly develop complete lidar systems aimed at autonomous driving applications and destined for integration in automotive lighting products for OEMs worldwide.
Lidar is one of the sensor technologies considered as indispensable for autonomous driving levels 2 through 5 (from partial to full driving automation, as defined by SAE International’s standard).
“Our know-how in high-end lighting technologies paves the way to new applications aimed at autonomous driving systems, which will be crucial in the future of automotive,” said Pietro Gorlier, CEO of Magneti Marelli. “The investment in LeddarTech, with its proprietary competence in solid-state lidar sensors, provides Magneti Marelli with the opportunity to partner with a technology leader with key expertise in this strategically important sector”.
Autonomous driving requires a range of sensors to provide information which enables the car to understand and navigate the environment. The lidar technology is considered particularly suitable due to its precise object localization and multiple objects detection even if they are moving, or in difficult lighting and weather conditions.
The solid-state lidar technology LeddarTech is developing holds the promise to “democratize” this technology in the sense that it makes autonomous driving more affordable. Earlier lidar sensors – such as the one the famous “Google car” was equipped with – used rotating beam sources. As a consequence of the extreme accuracy required for this purpose, lidar sensors used to carry a price tag comparable to a small compact car.
Magneti Marelli did not disclose the amount of its investment.