Exclusive: Huawei’s lidar is on the car, the price may be as low as hundreds of dollars

The competition of vehicle lidar has entered the stage of mass production.

Recently, Huawei began to intensively release news about mass-produced car-level lidar. This means that Huawei is ready for mass production of automotive-grade lidar products.

Before the Guangzhou Auto Show this year, Wang Jun, President of Huawei’s Smart Car Solutions BU, said in an interview with Che Yun that Huawei’s lidar has become a hot product snapped up by car companies and is considering an overall release of lidar products in the near future.

Che Yunjun learned that Huawei hopes to create an industry-leading one-stop intelligent driving sensor product series, which includes millimeter-wave radar using fifth-generation technology, a 96-line laser radar, and a 5.4MP high-definition camera.

Huawei’s lidar is positioned as a medium-range lidar, with a detection distance of up to 150 meters, and its horizontal field of view can reach a FOV of 120 degrees. It has a real mass-produced commercial vehicle-level capability.

“Our standard high-end autonomous driving uses 3 lidars. How many lidars we need to use in the future is related to performance improvements and platform computing power requirements.” Wang Jun revealed.

According to Huawei’s plan, its intelligent driving platform uses a flexible and scalable platform architecture. Its standard platform that supports L3 autonomous driving will use the MDC600 Pro computing platform, which has a computing power of more than 300 TOPs and can access up to 8 lidars. After adding computing power and sensors, it will be upgraded to the MDC 900 Pro platform, which will be able to support L4 autonomous driving capabilities.

After reducing the computing power and sensors, it can become the MDC 300 Pro platform, which supports L2+ level assisted driving, and can also be equipped with one or more lidars.

Huawei’s mass-produced lidar is very small and will not be placed on the roof like the 360-degree surround-view lidar that is currently on the market for L4 autonomous driving test cars.

According to Che Yun’s speculation, the three lidars standard for Huawei’s smart driving will be distributed on the front grille of the car and above the wheel eyebrows on the left and right sides of the car.

According to the picture provided by the source, this lidar has been tested on a Weilai ES8. This test car has a Suzhou license plate.

According to Huawei’s news, many of Huawei’s smart driving tests have been completed in Suzhou. In the future, most of its auto parts business will be deployed in Suzhou.

Competitive price

The news of Huawei’s self-developed lidar first appeared a year ago.

In October 2019, at the World Intelligent Connected Vehicle Conference held in Beijing, Huawei’s rotating chairman Xu Zhijun comprehensively explained Huawei’s business layout in intelligent vehicles. Among them, Xu Zhijun revealed, “Huawei will also use its own 5G technology to develop millimeter-wave radars to achieve all-weather imaging, and at the same time make full use of the world’s leading optoelectronics technology to develop lidars to truly solve the cost problems and performance faced by lidars. problem.”

Huawei is not just talking about lidar. The creation of a sensor ecosystem will be an important step for Huawei’s intelligent driving platform.

In August this year, at the Blue Book Forum in Wuhan, Wang Jun spoiled the lidar. “Huawei has an optoelectronic technology research center in Wuhan. The center is developing lidar technology. The goal is to quickly develop a 100-line lidar in the short term. In the future, it plans to reduce the cost of lidar to US$200 or even US$100. “

However, a source close to Huawei revealed that Huawei’s lidar is still unable to achieve such a low cost, but it is basically in the range of hundreds of dollars. Compared with the 32-line, 64-line, or 128-line mechanical lidar, which is tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands on the market, this price is very cheap.

According to Huawei insiders, lidar has become a hot product snapped up by OEMs.

Wang Jun told Cheyun.com that in order to achieve higher-level autonomous driving, most automobile OEMs have begun to consider using lidar. “It’s not always necessary to use a few, but most of them will be used. Lidar is definitely a big trend in the future.”

Many automobile OEMs have also recently announced plans to use lidar on vehicles.

At this year’s Guangzhou Auto Show, Xiaopeng Motors announced the software and hardware upgrade plan for the next-generation autonomous driving architecture, and said that it will take the lead in launching the world’s first mass-produced intelligent electric vehicle equipped with lidar in 2021. This news also ignited the enthusiasm of the capital market. However, Xiaopeng Automobile did not disclose its lidar supplier.

Just before the Guangzhou Auto Show, Changan Automobile Chairman Zhu Huarong also announced that he would join hands with Huawei and CATL to build a high-end smart car brand. In its announced Changan Ark architecture, 36 sensors will be reserved, including 5 lidars.

BAIC New Energy made a direct official announcement. On November 27th, at the “Internet Car Wuzhen Night Talk” forum hosted by Huanqiu Automobile, BAIC New Energy Deputy General Manager and ARCFOX BU President Yu Liguo revealed: “We and Huawei have jointly created the latest ARCFOX product HBT. The new car is equipped with With 3 96-line lidars, 6 millimeter-wave radars, 12 cameras, and 13 ultrasonic sensors, Huawei’s chip has a computing power of 352 trillion times per second.” These remarks confirmed that Huawei’s lidar was on the car. Rumors.

Che Yun summary:

Wang Yuquan, a global scientific and technological innovation industry expert and founding partner of Haiyin Capital, said, “Lidar is about to enter a mature period, and the competition is cost advantage, scale advantage, that is, mass production capacity.”

Whoever can build a lidar that is more in line with car regulations and lower cost will occupy the market faster.

At present, the competition of lidar mainly includes international manufacturers such as Velodyne, Ibeo, Innoviz, Leddar Tech, etc. Domestic startups such as Hesai Technology and Sagitar Juchuang also have made great achievements in this field.

However, from the perspective of entering mass production and commercial competition, it is clear that Huawei’s accumulated full-stack self-research capabilities and delivery capabilities over the years, as well as low-cost precision manufacturing capabilities, are unmatched by these foreign manufacturers and startups.

However, the drone unicorn DJI, also from Shenzhen, also launched a lidar product with a price of hundreds of dollars this year. This may be one of Huawei’s most important rivals of lidar.