LIDAR sensor technologies are a mass product but due to investments for its future improvement to make the technology more small, robust, and cheaper, it is gaining huge demand among the suppliers.
Both automobile manufacturers and their suppliers are holding a strong position with LIDAR sensors as compared to any other components. It is backed by many well-financed start-ups. Yole Development, one of the management consultancy company estimated to have invested 400 million US dollars each in 2016 and 2017 whereas only eight million US dollars were spent in 2015. The significant demand for having a higher resolution is much higher in the automotive industry than any other application.
One of the major suppliers of Audi is Valeo where mechanical LIDAR systems are used for the long term now. Ibeo developed the light source which emits infrared range laser beams and gets deflected by small movable mirrors. The vehicle front area is covered by the sensors which can detect objects in this field of vision. The key to the highly and fully automated driving is considered to be LIDAR technology instead of Radar and Camera sensors.
The LIDAR system market is expected to increase more than tenfold times in the next five years and the majority of the market is expected to be dominated by robot taxi applications.
One of the major suppliers, ZF, also acquired a major stake in the LIDAR specialist where ten million automated vehicles are expected to be on-road by 2030 around the world.