ZF starts production of lidar sensors

August 31, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ZF starts production of lidar sensors
Ibeo Automotive Systems (Hamburg, Germany) has commissioned ZF Friedrichshafen to produce its ibeoNEXT lidar system. The first batches will be delivered to partners and customers worldwide from October 2020 - including Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor, who plans to use the lidar sensor in series production in its Wey SUV model from 2022. ZF holds a 40 percent share in Ibeo.

The ibeoNEXT lidar sensor is based on solid-state laser measurement technology and therefore has no moving parts, making it more robust against environmental influences and vibrations than existing models in the lidar sensor market. By processing a large number of laser impulses in parallel, the sensor generates a high-resolution 3D model of its surroundings in real time, which detects crash barriers and road markings as well as vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians and their position and movement.

The ibeoNEXT, like its control unit, was developed by Ibeo. Central components, the VCSEL laser sources, were developed in cooperation with Austrian analog electronics and sensor specialist ams AG . Ibeo commissioned ZF to produce the lidar sensor and the control unit. The first batches are currently being produced in a ZF plant in Plouzané near Brest (France) and will be delivered to customers and partners worldwide from October 2020.

One of the first customers to use the ibeoNEXT in series production is Great Wall Motor: China's largest SUV and pick-up manufacturer is using Ibeo technology for the future production models of its premium SUV Wey. The lidar system is to be used in series production from 2022 and will enable automated driving at level 3 with a highway pilot. The GWM Wey will thus be able to drive longer stretches of highway independently. The system comprises the ibeoNEXT solid-state lidar, the associated control unit and a perception software, also developed by Ibeo, which recognizes objects and thus enables safe driving in interaction with other systems.

According to Ibeo, the lidar series contract with Great Wall Motor is one of the largest ever concluded worldwide.

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