Automotive LiDAR scanners are autonomous vehicle sensors essential to the development of autonomous cars. Valeo’s LiDAR technology is considered one of the best Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) on the market.

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors are used to detect objects and estimate distances. These sensors are key to the development of automated driving. Valeo was the first automotive player to market a laser LiDAR sensor (Valeo SCALA™), that meets the quality and safety criteria of the auto industry.

 “This third- generation LiDAR from Valeo is a major technological step forward for autonomous vehicles. Valeo is currently the only player on the market mass producing an automotive LiDAR system. This advance strengthens Valeo’s technological and industrial leadership position in that market. The primary objective of this system is to save lives on the road,” says Geoffrey Bouquot

Valeo R&D Director in charge of strategy.

This third-generation LiDAR technology sees what the human eye, cameras, and radar cannot see on the road. This sensor for self-driving cars adapts to all light conditions, even extreme situations, whether there might be too much light or none at all. The LiDAR sensor even evaluates the density of raindrops and calculates the braking distance accordingly.

How does automotive LiDAR technology work? 

The Valeo third-generation LiDAR sensor system hasan unmatched capacity of perception, scanning the vehicle’s environment 25 times a second. As an innovative autonomous car sensor, it combines long-range detection on the road, covering more than 200 meters, with a wide field of vision.

Valeo’s automotive LiDAR scanner detects, identifies and categorizes all objects around the car.  It measures the speed and direction of moving objects. It tracks other vehicles in the surrounding environment, even when they are no longer in the driver’s field of vision. The LiDAR’s algorithms enable it to anticipate the trajectories of moving objects and trigger the necessary safety maneuvers.

All these features allow LiDAR-equipped self-driving cars to protect both the people in the car and those around it: pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. In addition to feeding information to the vehicle, this LiDAR sensor system will alert other vehicles to road hazards via the cloud so they can benefit from its exceptional perception capabilities.


Automotive LiDAR: the essential sensor for autonomous driving

Just like we need our five complementary senses, autonomous cars need different types of sensors to drive in complete safety. Valeo offers the broadest range of automotive sensors in the world, and was even the first company to make an automotive LiDAR sensor for series-produced cars.

In 2021, the first two autonomous vehicles in the world authorized to drive at Level 3 autonomy were equipped with Valeo’s first- and second-generation LiDAR sensor systems. Valeo’s LiDAR system can also be used in driverless shuttles, robotaxis and delivery droids….

The world’s first mass-produced 3D LiDAR system for self driving cars

The Valeo automotive LiDAR sensor is the first 3D laser scanner installed in series-produced vehicles that meets the stringent specifications of auto production. This autonomous vehicle sensor system is protected by 560 patents worldwide.

Since its launch in 2017, more than 150,000 units of Valeo’s laser LiDAR have been produced. Production of Valeo’s second-generation LiDAR technology started in 2021. The Honda Legend, which was the first vehicle in the world to be approved for SAE level 3 automated driving, uses Valeo LiDAR scanners, two frontal cameras and a Valeo data fusion controller. The Mercedes-Benz Class S, the second level 3-certified car, is also equipped with a laser LiDAR technology, Valeo SCALA™ Gen2.

Valeo’s third-generation laser LiDAR technology, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2024, will take autonomous driving even further, making it possible to delegate driving to the vehicle in many situations, including at speeds of up to 130 km/h on the highway. Even at high speeds on the highway, autonomous vehicles equipped with this system are able to manage emergency situation autonomously.

Automotive LiDAR technology manufacturing based in Germany

Valeo designs and manufactures the entire system, from the hardware to the software and the associated artificial intelligence, the “brain” that collates all the information and enables the vehicle to make the right decision instantly. The software automatically adapts to the environment and improves its performance through progressive over-the-air updates.

Valeo’s laser LiDARs are produced at a plant in Wemding, in the German state of Bavaria. At that plant, the assembly of the components is measured down to the micron. The production lines utilize advanced expertise in optics, mechanics, and photonics (the area of physics that deals with the emission and reception of light particles, i.e. photons). Valeo has 300 engineers dedicated solely to this automotive LiDAR technology, for which the company has already filed over 500 patents.

Self driving car sensors based on triple redundancy for safer mobility

The automotive industry uses the triple redundancy system to guarantee the safety of using autonomous cars. Every item of information received by a sensor must be confirmed by two other sensors of different types. Valeo offers the broadest range of automotive sensors on the market.

Mobility Kit: New forms of mobility

In addition to automotive applications, Valeo also offers its Mobility Kits, which combine our capacity to innovate and our technological excellence in a complete range of high-performance plug-and-play systems. These kits, which include the Valeo SCALA™ LiDAR and provide developers with turnkey solutions, offer solutions to players in new forms of mobility that meet the demands of the automotive industry.

Six worldwide firsts for Valeo SCALA™ automotive sensor

Six worldwide ground-breaking experiments in the field of autonomous vehicles were made possible by equipping vehicles with the Valeo SCALA™ sensor:

  • 2015: A Tour de France on dual roadways by the autonomously driven Valeo Cruise4U demonstration vehicle.
  • 2016: A tour of Europe by the Valeo Cruise4U vehicle
  • 2016: A tour of the United States by the Cruise4U vehicle
  • 2016: A 24-hour trial run on the Paris ring road by a 100% autonomous Valeo Cruise4U
  • 2018: A tour of Japan by Valeo Cruise4U
  • 2018: Valeo was the first company in the world to run an autonomous vehicle in central Paris, in 100% autonomous driving mode, with Valeo Drive4U, equipped exclusively with series-produced sensors
  • 2021: The Honda Legend and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class are the first cars to have reached level 3 automation in the market. Both models are fitted with Valeo’s LiDAR technology.


Frost & Sullivan recognizes Valeo as a pioneer and key player of 3D LiDAR with the 2022 Global Market Leadership Award