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Automotive LiDAR deployment ramps up in 2024

More new car models with LiDAR were released in 2023 than the previous four years. Chinese players lead the game.

Supplier market share in the dynamic automotive LiDAR space is changing as the sector grows, led by the passenger car segment, Yole Group’s analysis shows.

The global LiDAR market for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles (LCV) and robotaxis was estimated at $538 million in 2023, representing a 79% year-on-year increase. Yole Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 38% to reach $3.6 billion in 2029.

In 2022, the LiDAR market for passenger cars was slightly larger than the market for robotaxis. There was clear growth in the passenger car segment in 2023 to $414 million, while the robotaxi segment stood at $124 million. This gap is set to grow over the coming years, with the passenger segment reaching $3 billion compared with $638 million for the robotaxi segment.

Yole Group has revised down its forecast compared to last year – not because the market is slowing but because the average selling price (ASP) of LiDAR is decreasing fast, notes Pierrick Boulay, Senior Analyst at Yole Group. The market is relatively young compared to the mature markets of camera and radar.

Yole Group examines the burgeoning automotive LiDAR market through a dedicated collection of products, including LiDAR for Automotive report, 2024 edition.

Moreover, from technologies to markets, the market research and strategy consulting company explores the technical choices made by leading LiDAR companies such as Valeo, Robosense, Hesai and Seyond (formerly Innovusion) with a new comparison report: Automotive LiDAR Comparison 2024. Among the numerous LiDAR teardowns developed by Yole Group throughout the year, our analysts present a compilation of four LiDAR systems, detailing their components and bills of materials to create a comprehensive cost performance index…

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Benjamin Pussat Senior Analyst at Yole Group
We could rank LiDARs by only considering the detection range, the field of view or the number of data points. However, there would be as many winners as players. In this context, at Yole Group, we decided to compare several models on the same basis – the performance index. This is the data point density and that includes most of the LiDAR’s features. When it comes to performance, volume and cost should also be considered, especially in the automotive sector.

All of the valuable analyses focused on ADAS technologies developed by Yole Group and all related events and articles/interviews are available: HERE.

On the road of innovation, fasten your seatbelt and discover today a snapshot of the LiDAR market’s evolution and technology status. This article is delivered by Pierrick Boulay and Benjamin Pussat, both Senior Analysts, specialized in the analysis of LiDAR systems and related markets at Yole Group.

Adoption in new car models expands

There were more cars released with LiDAR in 2023 alone than in the entire period from 2018 to 2022, indicating the rapid acceleration in the application of LiDAR into vehicles. Since 2018, Yole has tracked more than 200 design wins – each representing a car model – around the world.

The market continues to evolve from the first LiDAR car released in the F segment, which represents luxury vehicles such as certain Audi models. Innovation is typically implemented into cars in the E segment and F segments and then deployed into lower-end cars. As a result, the global D and E segments have become the sweet spots to integrate LiDAR, and the bulk of the volume is in the C and D segments, where models have lower price points between $30,000 and $50,000 and are sold in much larger volumes than F segment models.

New Chinese car models were released in the E and D segments in 2022, and the first car in the SUV-C segment was released in 2023. Yole expects many more car models to be released in the D segment in 2024, and some in the C segment.

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Pierrick Boulay Senior Analyst at Yole Group
The emergence of LiDAR in the lower-priced segments reflects the rapid fall in the cost of the technology, because if you have a lower price for the car then all the equipment is much more cost sensitive.

As the LiDAR market for passenger cars is almost three times bigger than the LiDAR market for robotic cars, the leading players in the passenger market are also the global market leaders. China’s Hesai has strong involvement in both markets, as does RoboSense. France-based Valeo, with its Scala 3 LiDAR, will be the best of the non-Chinese LiDAR manufacturers.

Chinese OEMs drive dynamic market

There are clear distinctions between the automotive LiDAR market in China compared with the rest of the world.

Local OEMs in China are pushing LiDAR adoption – around 128 models are set to be released in the country with LiDAR in 2024 or soon after. This makes it a far bigger market than Europe, where around 10 new car models are expected to be released, and the US with only two. At least three car platforms with LiDAR are likely to be released by Japanese and South Korean OEMs in 2024 or soon after. The ASP for Chinese LiDAR systems is around $450-500, showing a sharp decrease from 2022, while ASPs in the rest of the world average between $700-1,000.

LiDARs are typically placed into the grille or on the roof of the vehicle. Alternatives are being developed and a location behind the windshield will happen in the next two years. A recent partnership between Hesai and Marelli showed that headlamps are still a location that can be envisaged. The use case is still to be defined for this new location. The mounting location of the sensors is crucial, as they need to have unobstructed lines of sight long distances from the vehicle, and there is a clear push to reduce the size of devices.

As the technology continues to evolve, Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR is emerging as an alternative to Time of Flight (ToF) LiDAR. The technology embedded, silicon photonics, is still relatively new compared to the use of bulky components on a PCB.

Pierrick Boulay from Yole Group
Most of the companies developing FMCW LiDAR are targeting niche industrial and/or robotic vehicle applications initially, as volumes are low, and ASPs are less of an issue for customers. This allows them to generate cash and at the same time to improve their knowledge and experience. Once they have improved the technology, they can target the automotive market. However, the path from industrial to automotive can be quite long and difficult as requirements and performance levels are quite different. We do not expect them to enter the market before 2028.

About the authors

Pierrick Boulay is Senior Technology & Market Analyst, Automotive Semiconductors, at Yole Group. He works in the fields of solid-state lighting and lighting systems, carrying out technical, economic, and marketing analyses. In addition, he leads the automotive activities within the company.

Pierrick has authored several reports and custom analyses on topics such as automotive lighting, LiDAR, sensing for ADAS vehicles, and VCSELs. Prior to Yole Group, Pierrick worked in several companies where he developed his knowledge of lighting and automotive. In the past, he primarily worked in R&D departments on LED lighting applications.

Pierrick holds a master of science in electronics at ESEO (Angers, France).

Benjamin Pussat is Senior Analyst, Systems Teardown, at Yole Group.

With his expertise in reverse engineering and costing analyses, he is responsible for identifying and dissecting electronic boards and mechanical components during the disassembly process. His primary objectives include understanding device structures, identifying components, and determining manufacturing costs. Additionally, Benjamin contributes to the construction of block diagrams. He has developed a specific expertise in electrification modules encompassing inverters and converters, as well as ADAS solutions. Additionally, he conducts analyses centered on consumer products like smartphones.

Moreover, Benjamin plays a significant role in developing and maintaining Yole Group’s PCB costing software. He also leads custom training sessions and demonstrations. And he has published numerous Yole Group articles focused on systems teardown.

Prior to Yole Group, Benjamin worked as an Engineering Technician & Test Technician. Benjamin holds a University Diploma in Technology in Electrical Engineering and Industrial Computing (Université de Nantes, France).

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