If we had to summarize CES 2019 into one word it would be “autonomous”. Once again, this year’s major focus was on self-driving technology. The North Hall of CES was like a car show in itself, with manufacturers, suppliers and aftermarket electronics companies presenting their latest technologies. All variations could be found: be it driverless concept cars, robo-shuttles, self-driving trucks, ‘pods’ where you can interchange loads and of course, flying taxis. Passengers could even hail an autonomous car ride through the Lyft app throughout CES.
Blickfeld showcased its technology and demonstrators at several partner’s booths, including LITE-ON, one of the world’s largest manufacturers, and LeddarTech/Clarion, who exhibited their LiDAR ecosystem.
And then there was LiDAR. If you searched the CES register for the word “LiDAR”, you got as many as 45 hits. LiDAR companies exhibited their tech at every corner, and seamless sensor integration and fusion was showcased by a large number of the Tier1s exhibiting. Industry experts (even the ones you wouldn’t expect) seemed to completely agree that LiDAR is an essential part of autonomous driving. Interestingly, still only very few different LiDAR brands were mounted on the autonomous vehicles demonstrated. Mostly the classic spinning devices, indicating the availability of alternative LiDAR concepts is still limited. What’s more, there were many choices if you had several $ 10,000 to spend on a LiDAR solution. But for anyone needing 10,000 LiDARs for their fleet of L4 cars or production vehicles, only very few options exist. Small and mass-production capable LiDARs are still scarce goods. Innovative scalable solutions are in demand.