Lidar is everywhere: the 3D sensing technology is now built into smartphones, used to help self-driving cars, and even used to peer through dense jungles to reveal ancient ruins lying beneath the foliage. Researchers at Yole Intelligence say that commercial lidar technologies are already worth at least $2.1 billion, and that the market will likely expand to at least $6.3 billion by 2027. This article about the future market development of lidar has been contributed by Dr. Sam Heidari, CEO of Lumotive.
Not only has lidar gone mainstream, it’s also continuing to evolve fast. We’re finding new uses for lidar all the time, in sectors ranging from consumer toys to serious industrial and defense applications. We’re also starting to see specific industrial applications where lidar holds great potential. The rise of autonomous trucks, delivery robots, and warehouse Automated Mobile Robots (AMRs) such as forklifts in the logistics industry is predicted to fuel the growth of the lidar market. Specifically, the logistics sector’s lidar segment is forecasted to grow from $72M in 2021 to $344M in 2027, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30%, according to the same Yole report.
So where does lidar stand today? Let’s take a look at some of the most important coming developments in this important and fast-changing field.
Automotive applications will drive widespread adoption
The integration of lidar into Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is essential to realize the full potential of autonomous vehicles. As we progress through the stages of vehicular automation, lidar’s significance grows. From enhancing basic ADAS functions, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, to forming the backbone of complex automated systems, such as autonomous valet or self-parking, lidar acts as the vehicle’s “eyes,” providing high-precision spatial and depth data. The burgeoning demand for safer, more efficient mobility solutions underscores why the fastest growth for lidar is expected within the ADAS application sector.
Moreover, advancements in solid-state lidar technology promise more affordability and design flexibility, promoting wider adoption in vehicles. With its precision detection and emerging accessibility, lidar is set to strengthen its position as a cornerstone of ADAS and autonomous vehicle technologies, driving us toward a truly autonomous future.
Smart infrastructure will become a billion-dollar sector
In addition to automotive applications and topographical scanning, smart infrastructure will soon become another billion-dollar application for lidar technologies. Smart cities are one of the key use-cases for lidar: a number of cities in Asia, the Americas, and Europe are already using lidar for monitoring and managing both pedestrian and traffic crossings, with proponents seeing lidar as a powerful but privacy-friendly alternative to ubiquitous security cameras.
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