LIDAR: Still Pricey For Mass Market Usage
LIDAR-equipped vehicles have started finding their ways in showrooms, but not in the form as used by the Waymo, the roof mounted coffee can size LIDARs.
One of the latest cars to feature the LIDAR is the redesigned Audi A8, which will be featuring a Valeo-produced LIDAR unit in its grille.
A8 array of cameras, radars, and ultrasonic sensors will be complemented by the new generation LIDAR that will be developed by Valeo near Munich.
The benefits of the LIDAR for the A8 will allow traffic-jam assist that can accelerate, brake and steer at speeds up to 60 km/h. In the automated mode, the driver will not need to hold the A8’s steering wheel.
Audi A8 will go on sale in Europe later this year and in the United States by the next year.
However, the LIDAR in A8 is a mechanical one, instead of a solid state one. This means that the prices of LIDAR will be high for now, although it is expected to sharply decrease as the advancements happen in the field.
Apart from the luxury flagships users of the LIDAR such as the A8, BMW 7 series, and Mercedes-Benz S class, right now the most likely market for the early usage seem to be Uber and Lyft’s robo-taxi fleets.
As per the industry insiders, the technology will be deemed mass market ready when the cost of the LIDAR unit comes to around $250.