Cepton Technologies, Inc. has launched a new path-breaking miniature lidar sensor priced at less than $100 for high volume automotive applications.
The Nova is a wide angle near-range lidar sensor intended to address major gaps in proximity detection of objects with current sensor technologies. Featuring best-in-class, high resolution 3D imaging with a high field of view (FOV) of 90-120° (H) and 60-90° (V), depending on configuration, Nova sets a worldwide benchmark with its unprecedented combination of compactness, FOV coverage and affordability.
Powered by Cepton’s patented and proven Micro Motion Technology (MMT®), the non-rotational, mirrorless, and frictionless Nova lidar can be hidden all around a vehicle to provide a complete 360° view of its immediate surroundings. With a lidar target size of 3.5 cm (W) x 3.5 cm (H) x 7.5 cm (D), and weighing less than 350 g, the ultra-small Nova is an easily embeddable lidar sensor that not only enables optimal styling choices but demonstrates the scalability of MMT® to the smallest form factors.
Nova has an angular resolution of up to 0.3°, with a maximum range of up to 30 m and is therefore ideal for automotive Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle (AV) applications such as blind spot detection, small object detection, automated park assist and free space estimation around the vehicle. For vehicles, a multi-lidar architecture can be facilitated, thereby creating a virtual safety zone all around while minimizing disruption to vehicle design aesthetics.
Nova is ideally suited for accurate detection of objects in proximity, such as small children, on-road objects, road edges, stationary objects and more. With this level of capability and its ultra-compact design, Nova can not only support ADAS and AV applications but also autonomous ground vehicle (AGV) and smart industrial applications.
With lidar’s increasing presence in cars and trucks, Cepton has been innovating its technology to meet the stringent requirements from OEMs and Tier 1s while striving to advance lidar designs that enable easy integration in the next generation of automobiles. Nova is the latest representation of Cepton’s state-of-the-art lidar innovation, that encompasses the goal of automotive-grade reliability, low power (<3.5 W) and high performance, along with an elegant, minimalistic design that requires only small amounts of real estate in the vehicle body.
Nova’s modular design and easily accessible components make it highly manufacturable, with very low cost at high volume. Previously, Cepton was one of the first in the industry to announce a <$1,000 volume lidar price for high performance, long range lidar (Vista-X90). Consistent with that trend, Nova is the first high field of view, near-range lidar with a <$100 price point for high automotive volumes. This fulfils Cepton’s objective to bring to market scalable, mass-market lidar solutions that enable the automotive industry to substantially accelerate safety and autonomy innovations in the next generation of vehicles.
“The Nova is an industry-first, transformational lidar that fundamentally changes the game for near-field sensing,” said Cepton CEO Dr. Jun Pei. “Currently, consumer vehicles have been limited to technologies that cannot facilitate true Level 3 or Level 4 autonomy for the mass market. Radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors suffer from high false positives and false negatives. Rotational lidars are not embeddable, making them impractical for consumer vehicles. Near-range flash lidars either lack the wide field of view or cannot match the power and size requirements to be discretely hidden all around the vehicle. The Nova represents path-breaking lidar innovation for the automotive industry in that it achieves a level of performance that is unmatched for such a small form factor.”
Nova is targeted for high volume production starting in 2023.