The American company Luminar presents a new LiDAR sensor that offers a range of up to 300 meters. This will remarkably equip upcoming Mercedes cars, allowing the brand to have an additional edge over Tesla in the field of autonomous driving. We explain everything that will change.
A few days ago, Mercedes announced the signing of a new partnership with the American company Luminar. Specialized in the development of autonomous driving systems, the firm is already collaborating with Volvo for its EX90 as well as with the Chinese brand Rising Auto, which offers hands-free driving in its new R7. The F7 sedan presented a few days ago should also be equipped with it.
most advanced technology
So far, we haven’t had too many details about the technology that will therefore equip the next Mercedes models. But now we know a little more, since Luminar has just organized its Investor Day. Like Tesla, which will take place this Wednesday, March 1, this event allows the company to give its news, present its results and announce its upcoming news.
And on this occasion, the firm founded in 2012 and based in Florida takes advantage of this new edition to present us with a reworked and improved version of its LiDAR sensor known as Iris. Called Iris+, this newcomer should offer better performance than what the company currently produces, in Detect small objects more effectively..
Greater efficiency whatever the speed at which the vehicle travels, while the company evokes speeds like those achieved on the German Autobahn (highways with unlimited speed). This radar offers a range of up to 300 meters, as announced in the company’s statement, not to be confused with artificial intelligence-based photo editing software. As a reminder, the previous model did not exceed 250 meters.
If the first copies of this Iris+ have already been delivered to certain large clients of the company, we will have to wait, however. until 2025 for mass production. One of the first cars to equip it could be the future EQA scheduled for 2025. As a reminder, the EQS and the S-Class, which already authorize level 3 are already equipped with a LiDAR sensor.
A step forward
Thus, the firm of the star, whose autonomous driving is already authorized in Europe and recently in Nevada, should confirm its length ahead of Tesla, while its system would be more efficient than Autopilot. As a reminder, FSD (Full Self-Driving) is still in beta testing in the US and not yet approved in Europe, even if we’ve already been able to test it. Additionally, Elon Musk’s firm is currently under investigation following a new fatal accident involving Autopilot.
If Tesla is preparing to implement Hardware 4 in its future models, and in particular in the Cybertruck, the firm does not believe at all in radars and LiDAR and prefers cameras to them, through the Tesla Vision system. However, it could be that speed cameras are making a comeback, as the official documents suggest. But no LiDAR in sight, although a Model Y with this type of sensor had been seen in 2021.
Pour Elon Musk, radars are still too unreliable compared to cameras. However, he may be interested in the technology developed by the French company Plastic Omnium presented at CES in Las Vegas. It is a 4D Imager millimeter radar, more discreet because it is integrated directly into the bumper and not into the roof, unlike LiDARs. The rest, offers greater reliability while its operation is not affected by weather conditions, for example.
As a reminder, LiDAR is capable of calculating with great precision the distance that separates the car from any object that is in its path. Therefore, it is able to efficiently and quickly map its environment, detect the various obstacles, vehicles and human beings. The main concern remains its high cost, which is why only high-end vehicles are equipped with it for now.
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