German holding company Porsche SE has made a substantial investment in Aeva, the company that develops sensors for self-driving vehicles.

Porsche SE is a major voting shareholder of the Volkswagen Group, which comprises VW Passenger and Commercial Vehicles, Audi, Porsche, Scania and MAN trucking brands.

This move marks Porsche SE’s only investment in LiDAR technology and builds on Aeva’s alliance with Audi’s self-driving unit.

VW Group Autonomous Driving senior vice-president Alex Hitzinger said:  “We have scanned the market closely and believe Aeva’s 4D LiDAR on a chip technology is the best LiDAR solution on the market, solving a fundamental bottleneck for perception in taking autonomous driving to mass scale.

“Together we are looking into using Aeva’s 4D LiDAR for our VW ID Buzz AV, which is scheduled to launch in 2022 / 23.”

Aeva has recently launched Aeries, a Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) LiDAR system capable of integrating the different components of a LiDAR sensor into a photonics chip.

The 4D LiDAR-on-chip decreases the device’s size while also attaining full-range performance of more than 300m for low reflective objects.

It can calculate the instant velocity for every point, which has not been achieved in the autonomous vehicle space until now.

The LiDAR-on-chip is expected to be priced at around $500 at scale, which is said to be much lower than the cost of the other LiDAR sensors.

Aeva co-founder Mina Rezk said: “Not all FMCW LiDARs are created equally. A key differentiator of our approach is breaking the dependency between maximum range and points density, which has been a barrier for time-of-flight and FMCW LiDARs so far.

“Our 4D LiDAR integrates multiple beams on a chip, each beam uniquely capable of measuring more than two million points per second at distances beyond 300m.”