LiDAR Will be Key to Full Vehicle Automation, Report Says
September 19, 2019      

BRUSSELS – A new study by the PTOLEMUS Consulting Group says most automotive OEMS will use a mixture of technologies, with LiDAR as key, in order to achieve full vehicle automation, instead of relying entirely on radars and cameras for vision.

In the Autonomous Vehicle Technology & Supplier’s Global Study, PTOLEMUS made several predictions about the future of the self-driving car markets, suggesting that OEMS create a “bottom-up, supplier-based roadmap of automation,” instead of making top-down, unrealistic launch dates by CEOs.

Additional predictions for the market include:

  • Despite significant decreases, the cost for OEMs to achieve safe operation of full autonomy (SAE Level 4) will still exceed $10,000 per vehicle in 2022, which makes it nearly impossible to launch fully autonomous private cars below a $100,000 price tag, prohibiting mass rollout.
  • Instead, the group expects robotaxis to be launched in 2021, as a 24/7 operation capability will allow ride hailing operations such as Waymo to recoup the investment. After that, the mass market will see the introduction of L4 technology, such as “Automated Valet Parking” and “Highway Drive” in premium models.
  • The U.S. will be the first country to deploy L4 autonomous vehicles, winning the race of deployment against Europe and China.
  • The cost of long-range LiDARs for L4 will come down by 40% by 2022, which will contribute to 100% growth in the market as technology becomes more accessible for OEMs.
  • Vision sensors will contribute to 60% of the total costs of L4 AV systems.
  • 5G technology will not be essential for the rollout of L4 vehicles.
Frederic Bruneteau Ptolemus

Frederic Bruneteau, PTOLEMUS

“Two years ago, most OEMs were adamant that sensors and AI would suffice,” said Frederic Bruneteau, the managing director for PTOLEMUS. “But high-profile accidents have pushed the safety imperative, requiring extra layers of redundancy. We predict that a ‘good enough’ approach to automation will never be authorized by regulators worldwide.”

The global study is a cross-technology, cross-supplier assessment of the AV industry, leveraging research of 80 technology companies and interviews with more than 20 vendors. It includes more than 500 pages of analysis, assessment of 13 key AV technologies, and forecasts up to 2030 of revenues and volumes for key sensors and components. For more details on the study, click here.