Stellantis to Use Valeo LiDAR for Level 3 Self-Driving Cars

Stellantis to offer Valeo’s Level 3 self-driving technology in its cars for safer, easier, and more convenient driving.

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Stellantis has chosen Valeo’s third-generation LiDAR to equip multiple models within its portfolio of automotive brands from 2024. The Valeo SCALA 3 LiDAR will enable these vehicles to be certified for level 3 (L3) automation, allowing drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel and their eyes off the road.

As Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer and member of Stellantis’ Top Executive Team, explains: “What sets cars apart from others today is the driving experience they offer. Thanks to our L3 autonomous driving solution leveraging Valeo’s latest generation LiDAR, we will offer a more enjoyable driving experience and give back time to the driver during their journeys.

 

Marc Vrecko, President of Valeo’s Comfort & Driving Assistance Systems Business Group, commented: “A new chapter in driving assistance systems is being written with our partners at Stellantis. Level 3 vehicle automation can only be achieved with LiDAR technology. Without it, some objects cannot be detected. Yet at this level of autonomy, the system’s perception capabilities must be extremely precise.

 

Valeo’s third-generation LiDAR sees everything in its surroundings, even when an object is far away and invisible to the human eye. The system can identify objects more than 150 meters ahead that neither the human eye, cameras nor radars can, such as a small object with very low reflectivity, for example a tire lying in the road. Valeo’s LiDAR recreates a 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings using a point cloud, with what the company says is an “unparalleled resolution for an automotive system.” It can also map the ground topology and detect road markings.

 

Valeo LiDAR also features embedded high performance software based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, which enables it to steer the vehicle’s trajectory, anticipating obstacle-free zones on the road ahead. It can self-diagnose and triggers its cleaning system when its field of vision is obstructed. Valeo claims that its LiDAR technology is ‘automotive grade’, meaning that the data it generates remain fully reliable and accurate in all usage and weather conditions (from -40 up to +85°C). It stands as the key component in a sensor system enabling vehicles to achieve approval for SAE conditional driving automation (level 3).

 

By contract, Tesla’s Autopilot is classified as Level 2 (L2) autonomous driving across its vehicle lineup. Tesla electric vehicles does not use LiDAR and high-definition maps in its self-driving software. “ Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD)  functionality is based on videos fed from eight cameras installed around the car,” With L2 FSD,  Tesla EVs can act autonomously, but require the driver to monitor the road and vehicle at all times and be prepared to take control at a moment’s notice.

 

Valeo’s third generation LiDAR makes driving safer and gives time back to the driver in burdensome driving situations, such as when traveling at low or medium speed in heavy traffic. These challenges are core to the partnership between Stellantis and Valeo. Through its data collection capabilities, Valeo’s LiDAR will enable new services to be offered to Stellantis’ customers.

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