January 12, 2021

Nova Cepton 400x275Cepton Technologies, which develops lidar-based solutions, announced its new miniature lidar sensor – the Nova  – with a less-than-$100 price point for high-volume automotive applications.

The Nova is a wide-angle, near-range lidar sensor aimed at addressing major gaps in proximity detection of objects with current sensor technologies, Cepton said. The Nova includes high-resolution 3D imaging with a field of view of 90 to 120-degrees horizontal, and 60 to 90 degrees vertical, depending on its configuration.

Powered by the company’s patented Micro Motion Technology (MMT), the non-rotational, mirrorless, and frictionless Nova lidar can be hidden all around a vehicle to provide a complete 360-degree view of its surroundings, Cepton said. Weighing less than 350g and with a lidar target size of 3.5 cm by 3.5 cm by 7.5 cm, the Nova can be easily embedded into designs and demonstrates the scalability of MMT to the smallest form factors, it added.

“The Nova is an industry-first, transformational lidar that fundamentally changes the game for near-field sensing,” said Jun Pei, CEO of Cepton. “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 discreetly hidden all around the vehicle.”

The Nova has an angular resolution of up to 0.3-degrees, with a maximum range of up to 30 m, aiming it for automotive advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle applications that include blind spot detection, small object detection, automated park assist, and free space estimation around the vehicle. Cepton said a multi-lidar architecture can be facilitated, letting designers create a virtual safety zone around while minimizing disruption to vehicle design aesthetics.

Cepton Vector logos TM transparent 1Cepton said the Novia is ideally suited for accurate detection of objects in proximity, such as small children, on-road objects, road edges, stationary objects, and more. In addition to ADAS and AV applications, the company said Nova would work in autonomous ground vehicle (AGV) and smart industrial applications.

The company added it was one of the first companies to announce a less-than-$1,000 volume lidar price for its high performance, long-range lidar (the Vista-X90), and is now able to produce the Nova at its less-than-$100 price point for high automotive volumes. “This fulfills 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 company said.

High volume production is targeted for 2023, Cepton said. At the moment, Nova can only be made available to members of its Early Access Program - contact Mitch Hourtienne, senior director of business development, for more details.