Hyundai Mobis goes long on lidar

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Hyundai Mobis goes long on lidar

Hyundai Mobis is investing $50 million in a company in the United States that is developing lidar, a sort of radar that uses light, as it works to improve the guidance of self-driving vehicles.

The auto parts company said Wednesday that it signed an agreement with San Jose, California-based Velodyne Lidar to jointly work on mass-producing Level 3 autonomous car systems by 2021.

With Level 3 automation, cars drive themselves but ask drivers to take the wheel when encountering dangerous conditions.

Lidar is a key sensor for autonomous vehicles and a key technology for taking autonomous driving systems beyond Level 3 capabilities.

Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly work on developing new lidar systems by integrating Velodyne’s lidar technologies with cognitive software to be developed by the Korean auto parts maker. The software is expected to process data on surroundings with lidar sensor input to better recognize and analyze moving and stationary objects nearby.

Hyundai Mobis said the partnership aims to begin real-world use of the to-be-developed lidar systems in the Asian market including Korea first, then gradually expand the rollout to North America and Europe.

Velodyne Lidar, which was established in 1983, has the largest share of the global lidar market.

Hyundai Mobis developed a short-range radar last year. It is developing a deep-learning-based camera system and plans to enhance its radar technology by next year. The company said the partnership will help Hyundai Mobis move a step closer to reaching its goal of making a Level 3 automation system.

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