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Stellantis Ventures invests in SteerLight silicon photonics LiDAR

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The corporate venture fund says the technology offers unparalleled sensing precision in a more compact and lower-cost LiDAR system, potentially accelerating the adoption of advanced driver assistance systems

Stellantis Ventures has announced that it has invested in SteerLight, a company focused on developing a new generation of high-performance LiDAR sensing technology.

SteerLight’s LiDAR system employs silicon photonics technology, which combines a universal semiconductor material with the speed of photons, to sense the surrounding environment in three dimensions. The company says it does this with higher resolution and precision, and at a lower volume production cost, than currently available LiDAR systems.

According to Stellantis, the technology has the potential to give drivers of future Stellantis brand vehicles better performance in a variety of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including automated driving.

“A central aspect of our Dare Forward 2030 initiatives is identifying groundbreaking technologies that deliver substantial value to our customers on a large scale,” said Ned Curic, chief engineering & technology officer at Stellantis. “Automated driving enhancements remain a top priority at Stellantis. The game-changing work at SteerLight can enable enhanced and widespread ADAS applications.”

François Simoens, cofounder and CEO of SteerLight, added: “We see a great benefit from having Stellantis’ corporate venture fund recognise our innovation so we can unlock large-scale adoption of LiDAR for industrial and mobility applications. Our new LiDAR technology is key to support new services in the automotive industry, and we are looking forward to working together to advance the next generation of vehicles.”

SteerLight, which is a spinoff of CEA-Leti, employs frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) LiDAR based on silicon photonics technology that puts the system on a microchip. The company says its system is robust (as it has no moving parts) and compact, maximising flexibility for vehicle engineers. SteerLight adds that its technology overcomes challenges of today’s LiDAR technology for vehicles – component size and high cost – and provides highly accurate depth and velocity data while resisting interference from the surrounding environment and other users.

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