Commercial vehicle manufacturer Daimler Truck AG (Daimler Truck) announced it has selected Aeva, a maker of sensing and perception systems, as the supplier of long and ultra-long range LiDAR for its series production autonomous commercial vehicle program.
Under the production collaboration, Aeva will supply its latest Aeva Atlas automotive grade 4D LiDAR technology to Daimler Truck and collaborate with Torc Robotics, Inc. (Torc), an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, to enable SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle capabilities beginning with the Class 8 Freightliner Cascadia truck platform. Daimler Truck intends to integrate the LiDAR sensors directly in its production process, making it easy for customers to buy autonomous ready trucks directly out of its manufacturing plants without the need for sensors to be retrofitted. Torc in turn will sell its virtual driver technology and supporting services as a subscription to customers. Torc’s driving software will use Aeva’s perception software, built around Aeva’s instant velocity data, to detect objects faster, farther away, and with higher accuracy. The multiyear collaboration begins in the first quarter of 2024 with Aeva’s start of production by 2026 and Daimler Truck’s production ramping up by 2027.
LiDAR is a key enabling technology in autonomous driving. While traditional LiDAR sensors use laser pulses to sense distances to objects, Aeva’s unique Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) 4D LiDAR technology uses a low power continuous laser beam to simultaneously measure range and velocity for every point. This enables vehicles to unlock new levels of safety and automation by instantaneously discriminating between static and dynamic points and knowing the precise velocity of dynamic objects.
According to Joanna Buttler, head of Global Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck, the company is committed to leading the industry’s advancement toward autonomous trucks and, with this partnership, is on track to offer autonomous trucks to the U.S. market by 2027.
Daimler Truck and Torc have made significant progress in turning autonomous trucks from an idea into reality, running extensive and successful on road test programs as well as first customer pilots. To maximize the safety of autonomous trucks, Daimler Truck and Torc’s trucks are equipped with sensor sets from a combination of three technologies, namely state-of-the-art LiDAR, radar and camera technology. This enables safe handling adapted to the respective situation on highways, surface roads and ramps as well as when turning at controlled intersections.