On September 8, local time, German automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen and American Silicon Valley startup Aeva announced that the two companies are cooperating to develop a key sensor for autonomous vehicles.
Lidar sensors use lasers to measure distances to help self-driving cars obtain 3D images of road conditions ahead. Now, dozens of companies are working to reduce the cost of such sensors to achieve mass production. Aeva’s sensors use frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) technology, which can detect the moving speed of distant objects and distinguish between stationary (such as trees) and moving objects (such as bicycles).
According to the cooperation agreement, Aeva will be responsible for providing core sensing functions, performance and algorithms, and ZF will be responsible for the production of automotive-grade sensors that can meet the requirements of automakers. The two companies did not disclose the name of the customer, but Aeva CEO Soroush Salehian said in an interview that the two companies’ goal is to start production of such sensors in 2023 or 2024.
One of Aeva’s main core technologies is to design a FMCW lidar, which can be manufactured using standard silicon semiconductor equipment and processes without expensive production processes.
Torsten Gollewski, CEO of ZF’s Autonomous Driving Mobility Solutions Division, said in a statement that the company will use Aeva’s technology and experience in the production of automotive optical sensors to mass-produce sensors that are sufficiently powerful not only for testing. The environment can also be used for actual roads.