Emerging Technologies

Aeva and ZF bring FMCW LiDAR for automotive

Aeva and ZF are partnering to bring the Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR to the automotive market. The partnership, Aeva’s expertise in FMCW LiDAR technology combined with ZF’s experience within the industrialization of automotive-grade sensors, represents a key commitment to accelerate mass production of safe and scalable 4D LiDAR technology for autonomous driving applications.

Aeva’s FMCW technology approach perfectly meets all the stringent requirements for autonomous operations in trucks and robo-service vehicles. We look forward to bring the world’s first FMCW LiDAR to an automotive-grade level and scale production, where ZF can rely on long-lasting production experience in optical sensors. ‘Automotive Grade’ will become a quality seal, necessary for a solid business model of all autonomous vehicle software stack providers,

Torsten Gollewski, Executive Vice President Autonomous Mobility Solutions at ZF.

As a part of the partnership, Aeva is going to be liable for the FMCW LiDAR core sensing functionality, performance, and algorithms and ZF are going to be liable for the industrialization of the automotive-grade sensing system that meets all automotive requirements.

Aeva’s FMCW technology is designed to meant to satisfy the challenging performance and the manufacturability requirements for the adoption of LiDAR in autonomous vehicles.

Unlike other LiDAR technologies, Aeva’s 4D LiDAR-on-chip uses an endless beam to measure the change in frequency of the waveform because it reflects off of an object. This enables it to detect an object’s range and instant velocity simultaneously beyond 300 meters at high accuracy. Additionally, Aeva’s 4D LiDAR is completely freed from interference from other sensors or sunlight and it operates at only fractions of the optical power typically required to realize long-range performance. All of which are critical hurdles that have previously slowed the broad adoption of automotive LiDAR.

Aeva’s technology also differs from other FMCW approaches in its unique ability to interrupt the dependency between maximum range and point density. Aeva’s 4D LiDAR integrates multiple beams on a chip that’s produced at a silicon wafer scale. Each beam is uniquely capable of measuring multiple millions of points per second at maximum range providing unprecedented data fidelity and significantly enhancing the factor of safety for self-driving cars.

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