Valeo’s hands-off, eyes-off driver automation LiDAR in future Stellantis cars
To provide a level 3 driving automation in its car models planned to be made from 2024, Automajor Stellantis selected Valeo's third-generation LiDAR. The level 3 automation allows vehicle drivers to safely lift their hands off the steering wheel and turning away from looking the road.
As Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer and member of Stellantis’ Top Executive Team, explains: “What sets cars apart from others today is the driving experience they offer. Thanks to our L3 autonomous driving solution leveraging Valeo’s latest generation LiDAR, we will offer a more enjoyable driving experience and give back time to the driver during their journeys.“
Marc Vrecko, President of Valeo’s Comfort & Driving Assistance Systems Business Group, commented: “A new chapter in driving assistance systems is being written with our partners at Stellantis. 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 Valeo SCALA LiDAR offers a resolution nearly 50 times that of the second-generation device. The technology comes with unique data collection features, allowing Stellantis to pave the way for new vehicle experiences.”
In providing this hands off and eyes off driving, Valeo’s 3rd gen LiDAR got to see a lot more clearly even faraway subjects and not to miss anything on the road better than human eye. Valeo claims this new radar can see and 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 such as a tire 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, explains Valeo.
Valeo further explains its 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. Like all Valeo LiDAR, 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.
Valeo assures it's third generation LiDAR makes driving safer and gives time back to the driver in bothersome driving situations, such as when traveling at low or medium speed in heavy traffic. These challenges are central to the partnership between Stellantis and Valeo. Through its data collection capabilities, this LiDAR will enable new services to be offered to Stellantis’ customers.
Valeo claims it is already world number one in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), equipping one in three new cars globally with its technologies. It also claims it is the only company to produce an automotive LiDAR scanner on an industrial scale. More than 170,000 units have been produced and the technology is protected by more than 500 patents.
Author: Srinivasa Reddy N