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Bosch makes a surprising decision on autonomous driving

Bosch has just announced the end of its development of LiDAR, an essential element for autonomous driving.

Automotive equipment giant Bosch recently announced a major decision that is shaking up the self-driving industry. The German company has decided to abandon the development of LiDAR sensorsa crucial technology for autonomous driving, due to its technological complexity and time to market.

Bosch, which had been engaged in LiDAR development for three years, said it would now shift its resources and engineering capacity to other sensor technologies, including radar. This decision comes after a careful evaluation of the costs and benefits of LiDAR technology, which has proven to be expensive to develop and integrate into vehicles.

A technology too expensive to develop

LiDAR sensors are known for their superior efficiency compared to cameras and radars. They use lasers to map and monitor a vehicle’s environment, enabling the precise detection of objects, obstacles and the estimation of distances.

However, despite their advantages in terms of accuracy, these sensors still face challenges related to their high cost and limited demandgiven that fully autonomous driving will likely take longer than expected to become a reality.

LiDAR already at the end of the race for autonomous driving

This decision by Bosch is not isolated to the German automotive industry. ZF, another major player, had already ended its development plans for LiDAR sensors, leaving Continental ahead of the race among the German giants. This trend highlights the challenges companies face in making the autonomous driving both technically feasible and economically viable.

This is not the first time Bosch’s automotive division has faced a setback. In 2018, the company gave up producing battery cells, paving the way for Chinese giant CATL, which recently inaugurated its first European mega-factory in Germany in early 2023.

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