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Vehicle headlight with integrated functional lidar demonstrated at CES

10 January 2022

Lumotive and the ZKW Group unveiled a functional demonstration of Lumotive’s lidar technology integrated with a ZKW vehicle headlight.

(A functional demonstration of Lumotive’s lidar technology. Credit: Lumotive)
(A functional demonstration of Lumotive’s lidar technology. Credit: Lumotive)

Conducted at the Lumotive booth #6776 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the demonstration couples Lumotive’s award-winning Meta-Lidar Platform – a scalable and cost-effective 3D sensing solution – with ZKW’s advanced vehicle lighting technology to produce a headlight with superior road illumination capabilities, while also providing 3D sensing for advanced safety and autonomy features. 

Compared with previous generation lidar systems that use mechanical spinning assemblies and are known for being bulky and expensive, Lumotive's solid-state solution is tiny and scalable for seamless integration into many essential mobility products such as vehicle lighting systems. The ZKW integration features a prototype of the Lumotive M30 module, the workhorse of the Meta-Lidar platform, which uses pulsed laser beams to measure distances between objects and the sensors around the vehicle. The Meta-Lidar platform generates extremely accurate and precise spatial data that can be used by a driver to avoid collisions or to further automate driving scenarios.

“Integrating lidar technology with vehicle lighting systems is the ideal application for Lumotive’s tiny form-factor lidar module, and this collaboration between Lumotive and ZKW enables a new and exciting era in lidar use cases,” said Alexis Debray, PhD., Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Emerging Technologies at Yole Développement (Yole). “The market for automotive LiDAR is expected to reach $2.3B in 2026 and then $6.2B in 2032, including LiDAR integrated in next-generation lighting systems that incorporate 3D sensing capabilities.”

The scalability of Lumotive’s products is enabled by the company’s disruptive Light Control Metasurface (LCM) solid-state beam steering chips, which significantly reduce the complexity, cost and size of lidar systems while improving performance and reliably operating in the challenging headlamp environment. Manufactured in proven and scalable CMOS semiconductor processes, LCM chips eliminate the need for bulky mechanical moving parts that challenge the cost and reliability of traditional lidar devices while delivering new levels of perception, detection and navigation in autonomous systems. Furthermore, LCM technology uniquely enables the industry’s first software-defined lidar capability, allowing the lidar scan pattern, frame rate and resolution to be customised for specific use cases in real time – a feature unique to the Lumotive Meta-Lidar Platform. Setting a new size/cost/performance standard, the company’s M30 lidar boasts a range of up to 20 metres, high resolution and a wide field of view of – all in a golf ball-sized form factor suited for integration around vehicles for autonomy and safety cocoon applications. The M30 is the first in a series of Lumotive products based on the Meta-Lidar Platform enabling a diversity of applications requiring sensing ranges up to 200 metres, such as autonomous driving, or form factors less than 1cm3 for integration into smartphones, AR devices, and wearables.

“Our collaboration with ZKW is a true technological breakthrough that brings the power and usefulness of scalable, solid-state lidar to world-class vehicular lighting solutions,” said Dr. Axel Fuchs, VP Business Development at Lumotive. “Our Meta-Lidar Platform is the most cost-effective approach that provides the performance and flexibility needed for volume production and mass adoption of sensor-enabled headlights, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with ZKW to commercialise the solution.”

“As one of the leading strategic partners to the automotive industry, it is of vital importance that we choose the best-in-class third-party technologies to integrate with our innovative lighting systems,” said Thomas Reiter, Group Senior Manager at ZKW. “We’ve been looking for some time for the right advanced 3D sensing technology to enable many vehicle headlight safety and autonomy features, and the Lumotive Meta-Lidar Platform approach is well-suited for our needs.” 

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