Continental buys LIDAR business from ASC

March 03, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
For autonomous driving, LIDAR is a key technology – it is complementary to radar, but yields much image resolution. Automotive supplier Continental has now acquired the LIDAR business from Advanced Scientific Conecpts (ASC). With the LIDAR products and technology acquired, Continental plans to complete its range of environmental sensors for driver assistance systems and automated driving.

The Hi-Res 3D Flash LIDAR technology enables three-dimensional environmental detection in real-time. Reliable even under bad weather conditions, the LIDAR sensors generate a detailed, comprehensive electronic image that can be processed by downstream ADAS systems.

 

The company said work is underway to devise a sensor family concept to cover various requirements for different types of cars and enable a functionally optimised representation and segmentation of the vehicle’s surroundings. “We need different sensor technologies to enable us to safely implement the next steps of automated driving”, explained Karlheinz Haupt who oversees Continental’s ADAS business. “Today, we have powerful and proven technologies in the segments radar, camera and data fusion. The Hi-Res Flash LIDAR Technology from Advanced Scientific Concepts is an important building block in our technology portfolio.”

 

Continental plans to integrate ASC, based in Santa Barbara, California, into its ADAS business segment. The employees, mostly engineers, will keep their jobs, Continental said. In the long term, Continental plans to grow its new High Flash LIDAR business unit to more than 100 employees. Arnaud Lagandré has been appointed to lead the new business unit.

With the move, Continental continues to expand its activities in the U.S. Already in December 2012, Continental was the first automotive system supplier worldwide to receive a licence to test autonomous driving on public roads from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) . In the meantime, the company claims to have covered more than 72.000 miles or 115.000 kilometres of highly automated driving. Besides its activities in the US and Germany related to autonomous driving, Continental also operates such activities in Japan.