Hamburg/Waldkirch in Germany, January 14th, 2021 – A technology partnership between Hamburg-based automotive LiDAR specialist Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH and SICK AG will result in a 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor for industrial applications. The technology, developed by Ibeo to automotive standards, is based on a new photon laser measurement technology and is entirely free of moving parts. An additional, camera-like reference image adds a “fourth dimension” to the measurement provided by the sensor.
The market for autonomous and semi-autonomous systems in an industrial context is predicted to grow at above-average rates. There is particular demand for robust, ever-smaller and above all, cost-efficient sensor solutions. The new solid-state technology from Ibeo works entirely without moving parts and features a compact form factor, thereby offering decisive advantages for mobile applications.
Now, Ibeo and SICK have announced a technology partnership to develop a 3D LiDAR sensor based on this innovative solid-state technology from the automotive sector, for industrial applications. In this partnership, Ibeo is providing its ibeoNEXT measurement core. SICK will develop the system design and the application software for a new industrial LiDAR sensor in order to solve industrial applications according to the customer’s requirements.
“Autonomous systems will bring increasing changes to the industrial sector in the coming years. Even outside industrial facilities there is much potential in mobile applications for the implementation of intelligent sensor solutions. The partnership with Ibeo will enable us to use a robust and highly-developed technology from the automotive segment for future-oriented industrial applications,” says Dr. Robert Bauer, chairman of the executive board of SICK AG.
“Together with SICK, we are making an automotive LiDAR sensor available on a large scale for industrial applications for the first time. In the industrial sector this is one of the largest LiDAR cooperation agreements ever concluded. Customers will profit from ibeoNEXT’s close-to-production development based on automotive standards and the high quality standards that result from this, as well as the scale effects associated with it,’ adds Dr. Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH. ‘We have had a long and close working relationship with SICK. Its extensive and in-depth application knowledge in the area of industrial applications and markets makes SICK an ideal partner to enable us to serve industrial markets.”
The ibeoNEXT measurement core was developed for large-scale automotive production and is based on an entirely new photon laser measurement technology for measuring the spatial distance of objects in medium to long ranges. Even in adverse environmental conditions, such as precipitation, or in surroundings with high levels of shock or vibration, the ibeoNEXT measurement core reliably determines over 10,000 distance values from each 3D measurement. It also generates a black-and-white image similar to the picture of a camera, which enables an even more reliable ‘four-dimensional’ detection of the surroundings.
“We decided to use Ibeo’s solid-state LiDAR technology because it is currently one of the most advanced 3D LiDAR measurement systems available in the world. It is an addition to our technology portfolio and enables us to offer, on top of our existing industrial applications, new, easy-to-integrate solutions in the field of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving for use in the industrial sector,” says Dr. Kay Fürstenberg, senior vice-president for research and development at SICK AG.
Selected customers of SICK will have the opportunity to test this new 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor in 2021 already.
SICK is one of the world’s leading solutions providers for sensor-based applications in the industrial sector. Founded in 1946 by Dr.-Ing. e. h. Erwin Sick, the company with headquarters in Waldkirch im Breisgau near Freiburg ranks among the technological market leaders. With more than 50 subsidiaries and equity investments as well as numerous agencies, SICK maintains a presence around the globe. In the 2019 fiscal year, SICK had more than 10,000 employees worldwide and a group revenue of around EUR 1.8 billion. Additional information about SICK is available on the Internet at http://www.sick.com or by phone on +49 (0)7681202-4183
Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH has established itself as a global technology leader for LiDAR sensors (English acronym for Light Detection And Ranging) and the associated products and software tools. This technology is used as an assistance system in cars and in the field of autonomous driving. It is Ibeo’s goal to reinvent mobility by enabling cars to become cooperative partners in the driving process, thus making transportation safer. Ibeo employs a total of over 400 people at its Hamburg, Eindhoven (Netherlands), and Detroit (USA) sites. Since 2016, the automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG has held a 40 percent share in Ibeo: initially via Zukunft Ventures GmbH, and since 2019 via ZF Automotive Germany GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of ZF. Ibeo celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. For further information, visit www.ibeo-as.com.