Manufacturing giant Magna and lidar specialist Innoviz Technologies have signed a deal with BMW Group to supply it with lidar units. These will allow future platforms from BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce to achieve Level 4 and 5 autonomy.
Magna collaborated with Israeli lidar provider Innoviz Technologies to integrate automotive-grade, solid-state lidar into Magna’s autonomous driving platform. Lidar, Magna’s Icon Radar and other sensors and systems within its MAX 4 platform provide a base for OEM products and mobility platforms of the future. In this case however, it is supplying various building blocks of the system to support BMW’s own efforts.
Kelei Shen, president of Magna Electronics, said, “We value the opportunity to support a premier brand such as BMW with our innovative technologies in sensors and systems. Our strong system capability and expertise at the fundamental vehicle architecture level gives us the ability to provide scalable solutions for different levels of autonomy.”
Magna’s solid-state high-resolution lidar technology generates a 3D point cloud of the vehicle’s surroundings in real time. The company claims it can do this even in challenging settings such as direct sunlight, varying weather conditions and multi-lidar environments. In addition, the solution provides a complete computer vision software stack and algorithms to turn 3D vision into critical driving insights.
BMW does not want to be left behind in the race to develop viable autonomous vehicles and has recently announced the construction of a new development centre in Unterschleißheim near Munich, Germany. At the new facility, 1,800 employees will develop software and road test 80 trial vehicles with the aim of developing highly and fully automated driving technology. These prototypes, based on the BMW 7 Series, will help to ensure the timely roll-out of the BMW iNext, the auto maker’s first highly automated production vehicle, which is to be presented in 2021.
“BMW is setting a high standard in autonomous vehicles development, and their vote of confidence in our lidar demonstrates how advanced our technology is,” said Omer Keilaf, co-founder and CEO of Innoviz.
“The Innoviz and Magna teams collaborated to meet BMW’s requirements for quality and validation plans, and functional safety. We are proud to see our product coming to series production.”