Chinese autonomous driving startup WeRide has released details of its latest generation sensor suite. Dubbed Sensor Suite 4.0, it marks a development step forward from its previous system due to an impressively small size and low weight.
WeRide says that by maximizing the integration of the various sensors, it was able to create a very compact package that is one sixth the size of its previous system and occupies a footprint of just 0.4m2 . The weight has also been reduced to 13kg, 20% of the previous unit, which the company claims makes it the lightest L4 unit currently available. It has also ensured that the form of the unit can be smoothly integrated into a vehicle’s structure. The suite incorporates solid lidar, a 4D millimeter wave radar and a new in-house developed camera module. The range is said to be up to 300m to the front, while it also providing full 360° coverage, removing blindspots.
The system features an inbuilt cleaning system, which automatically identifies when the unit is dirty and commences cleaning. This relies on a mixed use of high-pressure gas and liquid as a cleaning medium, with the cleaning process only taking around one second.
According to WeRide, considerable effort has been made to ensure the suite can be mass produced, with its modular nature meaning only 12 steps are needed to assemble the components; construction taking 20 minutes per unit. The housing is also produced using an open mold process allowing for low-cost mass production.