Small-Sized Wide Field Of View Lidar Sensor For Near-Range Applications

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The miniature and less expensive lidar sensor is easy to embed anywhere in an automotive with less disruption to vehicle design aesthetics

Priced at less than US$ 100 (Rs 7300) for high volume automotive applications, the Nova by Cepton Technologies, Inc. is a path-breaking miniature, wide-angle near-range lidar sensor that addresses major gaps in proximity detection of objects that is experienced 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 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 placed all around a vehicle to provide a complete 360° view of its immediate surroundings. With a lidar target size of 3.5cm x 3.5cm x 7.5cm (W x H x D) and weighing less than 350g, the easily embeddable ultra-small Nova 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 30m 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. A multi-lidar architecture can be facilitated for vehicles, thereby creating a virtual safety zone all around while minimising 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, the product can not only support ADAS and AV applications but also autonomous ground vehicle (AGV) and smart industrial applications. 

Nova is the latest representation of Cepton’s state-of-the-art lidar innovation, which 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. 

“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 a 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. Due to the anticipated high sample demand, Nova will only be available to select customers in 2021 through Cepton’s Early Access Program


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