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General Motors Selects Cepton To Supply Lidar For 2023 Production
FORBES
September 9, 2021

"San Jose-based Cepton is one of the less talked about lidar vendors in the auto industry today, but as part of an SEC filing today for its plan to go public through a SPAC merger with Growth Capital Acquisition Corp., it has revealed its first major production customer. Beginning in 2023, General Motors GM is planning to start installing Cepton-based lidar sensors in as many as nine different models.

Cepton uses something called micro-motion technology (MMT). The company has shared few details on MMT, but based on what it has said, the closest analog would something like quartz crystal that is used in watches and clocks. When energized with electricity, the crystal vibrates at a known frequency which is used to drive the timepiece. Similarly, MMT has something that vibrates to direct the laser pulses in a known direction. The result is claimed to be a very robust and low-cost solution for automotive lidar.

GM is likely to be using the Cepton lidar to both enhance ADAS capabilities for automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and also to enable its upcoming Ultra Cruise system. GM hasn’t revealed any details about Ultra Cruise capabilities, but it is expected to be a so-called level 3 (L3) system that enables a vehicle to drive in the lane and follow other vehicles at a safe distance without the driver having to continuously supervise as they do with current hands-free L2 systems like Super Cruise."

More at the link
 

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Here is Cepton's announcement from July announcing a new agreement with a "Detroit-based global automotive OEM"

Cepton secures industry’s largest ADAS lidar series production win with leading Detroit-based global automotive OEM
CEPTON
July 13, 2021

Cepton expected to be the first lidar company in the world to go mass-market across multiple vehicle platforms by 2023

Lidar solutions provider Cepton Technologies, Inc. (“Cepton”) announced that it has secured an ADAS lidar series production award at a leading, Detroit-based global automotive OEM (“Detroit-based OEM”), which is the industry’s largest award to-date [1]. This represents a landmark milestone both for the lidar industry as well as for Silicon Valley-based Cepton, which celebrates its five-year anniversary this month.

The Detroit-based OEM is expected to deploy Cepton lidars in its next generation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) across multiple vehicle classes and models – not just luxury cars. This marks the potential for an industry-first, mass-market adoption of lidar technology for automotive ADAS, with an anticipated deployment in consumer vehicles starting in 2023.

Cepton secured this path-breaking, series production win in partnership with Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (“Koito”), a leading automotive lighting Tier 1 supplier that is both a Cepton partner and investor. With this partnership, Cepton has provided a non-exclusive license to Koito to manufacture a version of Cepton’s MMT®-based Vista®-X90 automotive grade lidar, using key components and technologies from Cepton. Substantial progress has been made in the Vista®-X90 product development over the past 18 months since the series production award.

The multiple OEM vehicle models already awarded as part of this series production program makes this win the largest in the industry to-date. The deployment of Cepton lidars in those vehicle models, as well as anticipated models to be added in the coming years at the Detroit-based OEM, is expected to significantly exceed that in any of the other publicly announced lidar series production programs. This is a testament to Cepton’s patented MMT® lidars, which utilize a rotation-free, mirrorless and frictionless technology that balances outstanding performance, high reliability and low cost, which are the three key factors integral to delivering mass-market ADAS lidar. Cepton’s MMT® lidars also feature a superior combination of compact size and low power consumption, which maximizes flexibility for vehicle integration, enabling various placement options such as in the fascia, in headlamps, on the roof and behind windshields. Cepton’s Vista®-X90 lidar consequently enables seamless and innovative vehicle-lidar integration.

“We are thrilled to work with an automotive OEM that is not just considered one of the global leaders in the industry but also a recognized pioneer and leader in ADAS and autonomous driving,” said Cepton CEO and co-founder, Dr. Jun Pei. “We are honored to have been chosen to help fulfill their long-term vision for vehicle safety and autonomy. We are also gratified to partner with Koito and leverage their manufacturing and quality leadership in this pathbreaking series production program, which I believe will set the standard for future ADAS lidar adoption.”

Dr. Pei added, “We founded Cepton in 2016 with an emphasis on ADAS and centered our lidar innovation around the goal of making lidar an essential automotive safety sensor in everyday passenger cars. We are now focused on delivering a safer and more enjoyable driving experience to consumers within the next few years.”
 

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Interesting tech, can't wait to see what they do with it. I assume this level III self driving will debut on the Celistq????
 

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Interesting. While a lot of automakers make a big deal about LiDAR when talking about ADAS/self-driving capabilities, I hadn't noticed GM doing that. But these articles suggest that GM plans to have LiDAR in 9 models by 2023. Good for GM if this turns out to be a case where they are pretty far along but just not talking about it.
 
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Definitely sounds like a good get, if it works. Its hard to get price/reliability/scale right on thise things it seems like.
 
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Interesting tech, can't wait to see what they do with it. I assume this level III self driving will debut on the Celistq????
I just wish this technology was exclusive to GM. After GM starts using the technology it will be spread out over the rest of the automotive industry. Which I hate!

Sounds like a very interesting technology that will help cars become autonomous.
 

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I just wish this technology was exclusive to GM. After GM starts using the technology it will be spread out over the rest of the automotive industry. Which I hate!

Sounds like a very interesting technology that will help cars become autonomous.
If GM wants exclusive technology, GM can develop it in house. Or buy the supplier, or pay them enough to keep it exclusive. One of those may yet happen as we get closer to commercial product and, if not, why shouldn't the supplier sell to other companies too?
 

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If GM wants exclusive technology, GM can develop it in house. Or buy the supplier, or pay them enough to keep it exclusive. One of those may yet happen as we get closer to commercial product and, if not, why shouldn't the supplier sell to other companies too?
This is the reason why I don't think it's wise to be first to market.
 

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Interesting tech, can't wait to see what they do with it. I assume this level III self driving will debut on the Celistq????
I am curious if GM will use the lidar to continually update supercruise mapping…what better way to keep a leg up than to have a bunch of lidar-equppied customer vehicles running around scanning highways and secondary roads and sending the information to GM tech. If so, the obvious first vehicles with it will be supercruise equipped imo
 

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Or....they can "cheat" and throw the lidar sensors in EVERY car, so that they can all do the mapping work and upload via OnStar to GM daily.
 
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