Daimler Truck selects Aeva for autonomous vehicle technology

Daimler Truck AG announced the selection of Aeva, a provider of next-generation sensing and perception systems, as the supplier of long- and ultra-long-range LiDAR for its series production autonomous commercial vehicle program.

Aeva LiDAR sensors Aeva will supply its 4D LiDAR technology to Daimler Truck and collaborate with Torc Robotics to enable SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle capabilities. (Image: Daimler Truck)

Under the production collaboration, Aeva will supply its Atlas automotive-grade 4D LiDAR technology to Daimler Truck and collaborate with Torc Robotics, an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, to enable SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle capabilities beginning with the Class 8 Freightliner Cascadia truck platform.

“Selecting the right LiDAR technology is a crucial strategic decision to safely deploy autonomous trucks on the road. We are convinced that Aeva with its cutting edge and reliable technology is the right production partner for LiDAR sensors and has the manufacturing capabilities to scale along with us,” said Joanna Buttler, head of Global Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck.

While traditional LiDAR sensors use laser pulses to sense distances to objects, Aeva’s Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) 4D LiDAR technology uses a low-power continuous laser beam to simultaneously measure range and velocity for every point, the announcement explained, instantaneously discriminating between static and dynamic points and identifying the precise velocity of dynamic objects.

Daimler Truck will integrate the LiDAR sensors directly in its production process to enable customers to buy autonomous-ready trucks directly out of its manufacturing plants. Torc Robotics will in turn sell its virtual driver technology and supporting Mission Control services as a subscription to customers. Its driving software will use Aeva’s perception software, built around Aeva’s instant velocity data, to detect objects faster, further away and with higher accuracy, the announcement indicated.

Peter Vaughan Schmidt, CEO at Torc Robotics, said Aeva’s commercialization of FMCW LiDAR technology will prove a key differentiator for long-range detection and object identification. It will mean Torc’s virtual driving software can rely on higher resolution, farther and clearer object detection, plus instant velocity detection, “which are crucial to safely deploy autonomous trucks at scale,” he added.

The selection by Daimler Truck represents Aeva’s first major automotive OEM production design win and is the result of multiple years of extensive collaboration and qualification with Daimler Truck, Torc Robotics and Daimler Truck North America. The multi-year collaboration begins in the first quarter of 2024 with Aeva’s start of production by 2026 and Daimler Truck production ramping up by 2027.

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