Recently, ABI, a market research company, stated that by 2025, 8 million cars will be built for the consumer market. These cars will have the L3 or L4 self-driving capability defined by SAE.The L3 and L4 autopilots are capable of driving on their own in most cases, but for safety, humans have not been able to completely escape the driving role. L5 self-driving cars can drive at any time and under any circumstances. So far, the market has not yet appeared in L5 self-driving cars, even if it is close to L5.
We are still a long way from driving. Why does ABI forecast a figure of 8 million? This is actually the ABI speculation based on vehicle sales data for the past few years.Until recently, L1’s driving was only available in high-end luxury cars. Many companies, such as Ford, Toyota, and Speedmaster, are adding L1 technology to their vehicles, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and automatic braking. There is still a large gap between L1 and L5, but letting L1 technology become widely used is the first step in self-driving.
The extensive use of driver assistance systems has positive implications for technological development. The ABI predicts that the increase in these cars will also increase the demand for optical radars in the market. ABI expects that optical radar shipments will reach 3,600 units in 2025, with a market value of US$7.2 billion. In order to compete for the market, manufacturers will adopt more efficient methods to produce and increase production capacity. Ultimately, the price of optical radar will be reduced, which in turn will reduce the price of the entire automated driving technology solution.
ABI Research Analyst Shiv Patel said: “With the rapid development and deployment of OEMs for various ADAS suites, the next development is the higher level of automation. The main difference between ADAS technology and automated driving technology today is that there is no Using optical radar as a sensor, Optical Radar helps provide reliable obstacle detection and SLAM (Instant Positioning and Map Construction).”
For L3 and L4 autopilot, solid-state optical radar solutions from companies such as Innoviz and LeddarTech are gradually emerging. The principle of solid-state optical radar not only helps provide more reliable images, but also meets the strict pricing requirements set by OEMs. It is estimated that by 2020, the unit price of optical radar will reach 200 US dollars and 750 US dollars for low-order and high-end markets, which makes the use of solid-state optical radar auto-driving solutions can also become OEM is willing to accept the choice.
In the shared ride of one of the L5’s autopilot applications, the more expensive traditional mechanical optical radar solutions are still preferred because of the higher resolution and robustness of such sensors. Players aiming at self-driving taxis do not care much about the average selling price of vehicles. In the short term, their goal is to “grab the ground” and maximize their share in the smart travel market.
Under such market conditions, the first company to eliminate drivers will become a winner. Although the performance of solid-state optical radars continues to increase, the mechanical-optical radar is one of the most widely used sensor suites and is still considered the only choice in the short term by impatient developers.