Building off their Vista-X90 lidar, Cepton, Inc. this month unveiled their new Vista-X90 Plus lidar, which the company says is the world’s smallest adaptive long-range lidar. Cepton, who received the Outstanding Enterprise Achievement in Lidar award at Geo Week 2023, leaned on their proprietary ASIC chipset and “deep experience in automotive software” to build out their “groundbreaking” design.
The Vista-X90 Plus, as mentioned above, builds off their Vista-X90 lidar, which is launching in vehicles this year. Once launched, it will be the first lidar to be deployed behind a windshield. With this new iteration of sensor, Cepton is looking to make that integration for windshields, or other parts of a vehicle, even easier. The Vista-X90 Plus is 62 percent slimmer than its predecessor while enabling a 58 percent reduction in sensor footprint, which the company says will “offer an extremely streamlined solution for windshield integration,” adding that the new lidar is “ideally suited for the next generation of vehicles.”
It’s not just the size where Cepton was able to upgrade this line of lidar, either. In addition to that reduction in mass, they were also able to enhance the performance of the sensor while keeping power consumption at a minimum, a crucial factor for something designed to be used for the automotive industry. The company indicates that the Vista-X90 Plus has double the data rate compared to the Vista-X90 and is capable of achieving “ultra-high resolution for improved perception capabilities.” Furthermore, the sensor is said to be able to maintain a desirable balance between performance and power efficiency across different driving scenarios thanks to its added real-time software tunable region of interest.
In all, the Vista-X90 lidar has a range of up to 200 meters at 10 percent reflectivity with a field of view of 90 degrees horizontally and 25 degrees vertically. That’s to go with its reduced size – 120(W) x 24(H) x 120(D) mm to be exact – and a power consumption of less than 13 watts with typical usage.
“Vista-X90 Plus is the second generation of the industry’s best lidar for integration behind the windshield,” said Dr. Jun Pei, CEO and Co-founder of Cepton. “Its groundbreaking design resulted not only from our latest innovation in the 3D imaging technology, but also from our advancements in the development of our proprietary ASIC chipset.”
Just yesterday we talked about a collaboration in promoting lidar designed for the automotive space, with the difference being that was focused on trucking whereas this release from Cepton appears marketed more towards consumer vehicles. The key is that they are adapting to trends in the design of modern vehicles, and putting out a lidar which is small enough to be potentially adapted to new designs is crucial. They focus on the windshield application in this release, but also note that the Vista-X90 Plus could be “seamlessly embedded into the roof, the headlamps, and the fascia of a vehicle, in addition to being integrated behind the windshield.”
We’re still a ways away from fully autonomous vehicles on the road, but lidar is needed for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) as well, and that technology is already implemented to some extent into vehicles made today. Innovations like this smaller lidar which can be mass produced should accelerate the development of that market, and ultimately the fully autonomous market as well.
Brunno Moretti, VP of Product and Business Development, said in a press statement, “Vista-X90 Plus has been designed and developed by Cepton in the U.S. With a strong presence in both Silicon Valley and the Metro Detroit area, we have deep engagements with key leaders in the U.S. automotive ecosystem, from America’s biggest OEMs to world-leading semiconductor foundries. With our continuous innovation, we are proud to support the vision of safely deploying ADAS and making hands-free, door-to-door driving a reality for every American household.”
The Vista-X90 Plus is being marketed towards OEMs and is priced below $500 in automotive volumes.