July 14, 2021

AEye lidar Continental400x275AEye, which develops high-performance lidar solutions, has announced new partnerships and customer deployments, along with touting that its sensors can detect objects at the 1,000-meter mark in rain and behind windshield glass.

First, the lidar maker announced a development partnership with TuSimple for further expansion of TuSimple’s and VW’s TRATON Group’s plans for a commercial-ready fully autonomous system for heavy-duty trucks.

The lidar maker announced a development partnership with TuSimple, which is developing autonomous trucking solutions.

Second, trucking firm Continental announced it will integrate AEye’s long-range lidar technology into its full sensor stack solution for Level 2+ up to Level 4 automated and autonomous driving applications. 

Third, the company said its 1,000-meter mark detection was verified by VSI Labs, an active safety and automated vehicle technologies researcher. During a test at the American Center for Mobility (ACM) test track in Ypsilanti, Mich., the AEye sensors were able to detect the differences between two objects more than 1,000 meters away, through a simulated rain environment and behind a piece of windshield glass. In a second test, the sensor was able to detect small objects in a tunnel, through rain and a second surface, at 120 meters. With heavy rain and the sensor peering into a dark tunnel, the AEye sensor could detect five bricks and a black dog not visible to the human eye at 120 meters, as well as a pedestrian and child at 110 meters.

“I’ve never seen a demo like that one before – in a real-world scenario under poor weather, behind the windshield, while still being able to achieve the distance and detection,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights.

AEye said its achievements are made possible through its unique bistatic architecture, which separates the transmit and receive paths, providing optical isolation that – unlike traditional coaxial lidar systems – ensures any light reflected back doesn’t blind the sensor. The company said the performance is further enhanced through the use of 1550 nanometer lasers, which have a longer wavelength to penetrate obscurants, giving better detection in rain, snow, and smoke.

AEye said it will host a virtual investor day on Friday, July 16, and it remains on track to complete a previously announced business combination agreement with CF Finance Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, in Q3 2021. The combination is expected to provide up to $455 million in gross proceeds for the company (the new company will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LIDR”).

More details on the company and its offerings are available at the AEye website.