Stellantis Invests in SteerLight: Advancing Automotive Capabilities through Innovative LiDAR Technology

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Stellantis has announced its investment in SteerLight, an innovative French LiDAR start-up, indicating a strategic shift towards enhancing automotive capabilities through advanced technology. This partnership aims to deliver superior performance at a feasible cost for large-scale production. However, despite the promising prospects of this venture, certain questions persist within the industry.

On Wednesday, March 20, Stellantis disclosed its endorsement of LiDAR technology through the Stellantis Ventures investment fund. Notably, the chosen beneficiary of this automotive titan’s support is a Grenoble-based French start-up, SteerLight. Established in 2022, Stellantis Ventures has been dedicated to identifying nascent enterprises developing automotive and mobility-related technologies.

SteerLight successfully secured a substantial investment of 3.2 million euros from the Franco-Italian-American conglomerate, supplemented by contributions from Quantonation and LIFTT, alongside financing from Bpifrance. This collaboration positions SteerLight among the twelve other innovative entities backed by the stewardship of Carlos Tavares.


Stellantis Invests in SteerLight (Credits: Clubalfa.It)

What sets SteerLight apart from its counterparts? The start-up is pioneering a novel LiDAR technology, leveraging an electronic chip for clearer and more precise 3D environmental scanning, all while maintaining cost-effectiveness for mass production—a departure from conventional LiDAR systems.

By utilizing a wavelength of 1550 nm instead of the customary range between 905 nm and 940 nm, SteerLight’s solution emits substantially higher power—40 times more, to be exact.


Stellantis envisions integrating this groundbreaking technology into forthcoming models to enhance advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and facilitate progress towards autonomous driving.

However, Stellantis’ investment in this burgeoning technology raises pertinent inquiries against the backdrop of ongoing industry dynamics. Despite being heralded as a transformative breakthrough poised to redefine the current decade, the realization of autonomous driving remains elusive, with progress seemingly stalled.

Notable entities like Waymo and Cruise—subsidiaries of Google and General Motors, respectively—focused on driverless technology, have scaled back operations significantly. Concurrently, European manufacturers have maintained a discreet stance on the matter.


Ned Curic, Stellantis’ technical director, posits this investment as a pivotal facet of the Dare Forward 2030 plan initiatives. However, skepticism looms regarding the feasibility of achieving fully autonomous vehicles by the stipulated deadline of 2030.

In essence, Stellantis’ collaboration with SteerLight underscores a strategic commitment towards technological advancement within the automotive sector. Yet, against the backdrop of industry realities and evolving timelines, the ultimate realization of autonomous driving remains a subject of uncertainty and tempered expectations.

 

TrendForce 2024 Infrared Sensing Application Market and Branding Strategies
Release: 01 January 2024
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