ZF, Partners Aim to Launch Solid-State Lidar by 2021

ZF Friedrichshafen and its Ibeo Automotive Systems unit are partnering with Austria’s AMS to commercialize solid-state lidar sensors by 2021.

Lidar is expected to be a key enabling technology for fully autonomous vehicles. By eliminating mechanical parts, solid-state systems promise to be smaller, lighter and significantly less expensive than the pricey spinning units used in prototype self-driving cars. Several other companies also are developing solid-state lidar.

The new partnership will team Ibeo’s lidar systems with AMS’ vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) technology. ZF acquired a 40% stake in Ibeo in 2016.

VCSEL features a cylindrical beam with a narrow wavelength that AMS says provides improved reliability and stability compared with LEDs and edge emitter light sources. More information about the technology is available on the company’s web site.