Hyundai, Kia, And Korean University Collaborate On Next-Gen Lidar Sensors

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Hyundai Motor Company and Kia are collaborating with KAIST, Korea’s leading science and technology university, to advance the development of next-generation autonomous driving sensors.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia have announced a partnership with KAIST, Korea’s top science and technology university, to establish the Hyundai Motor Group-KAIST On-Chip LiDAR Joint Laboratory at the KAIST headquarters in Daejeon, Korea. The aim of this collaboration is to develop lidar sensors for advanced autonomous vehicles.

The joint lab will focus on developing high-performance and small-sized on-chip sensor manufacturing technology, as well as new signal detection technology. These advancements are crucial for the increasingly competitive autonomous driving market.

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On-chip sensors use semiconductor technology to incorporate various functions, enabling lidar to be smaller and more cost-effective through mass production using semiconductor processes.

Additionally, the lab will explore FMCW (frequency-modulated continuous wave) as a next-generation signal detection technology. This method emits light that changes in frequency over time, allowing for more accurate distance measurements, reduced signal noise, and improved performance in adverse weather conditions by excluding interference from external light sources such as sunlight.

The joint laboratory will comprise approximately 30 researchers from Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Advanced Technology Institute, and the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at KAIST. The lab is scheduled to operate for four years until 2028.

KAIST will lead detailed research in specialized areas, such as developing small on-chip lidar devices based on silicon photonics, producing high-speed, high-power drive integrated circuits (ICs) for lidar drive, and optimizing lidar system design and verification.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia, both leaders in autonomous driving technology, expect this collaboration with KAIST to accelerate the development of fully autonomous driving technologies. They are committed to supporting the joint research lab to achieve tangible results.

Professor Kim Sang-hyun from KAIST’s Joint Research Lab emphasized the importance of lidar sensors as the core technology for autonomous vehicle development. He expressed confidence that the joint laboratory would lay the foundation for leading lidar-related technologies.

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