AID-Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG and the “center of excellence” for Volkswagen Group’s autonomous driving system, announced a new partnership with Aeva, Inc. The Silicon Valley company will develop and equip part of AID’s new Audi e-tron test vehicles in Munich with its 4D LiDAR technology.

“In this phase, it is important that we keep pushing our Strategic Partnership Program forward and work together with the best players in the market. Aeva represents another important step in our goal to drive fully autonomously across urban areas within the next few years. Aeva’s 4D LiDAR technology is a clear top choice for perception with its unique combination of long range, instantaneous velocity measurements at cm/s precision and robustness to interferences in a single package,” said Alexandre Haag, AID´s CTO.

“From early on, it was crucial for us to work closely with a seasoned strategic partner that could help us showcase the impact of our 4D LiDAR’s differentiating features in unblocking the limitations of current perception solutions. Over the past year we’ve worked closely with AID and VW Group engineering teams through a comprehensive validation process toward meeting the requirements of the next urban autonomous driving system,” said Mina Rezk, Aeva Co-Founder.

Unlike most conventional time-of-flight LiDAR technology—where high-power pulses of light are used, and the flight time for each pulse is measured to create a 3D map of the environment—Aeva says its sensing technology is based on light interference and uses continuous low-power laser to sense instant velocity of every point per frame, at ranges up to 300 m (984 ft). This produces a 4D map of the environment and, in particular, the velocity information drastically enhances the detection and classification of pedestrians and other critical objects, according to the company. Aeva adds that its technology is also free from interference from other sensors or sunlight. Aeva’s system is also scalable by design, with the integration of all core optical components on its proprietary chip.

 “Audi’s AID is an excellent strategic partner for Aeva. Its position as the center of excellence for autonomous driving within VW Group has provided us with invaluable feedback to continue developing our product for mass scale. We are excited to work alongside AID toward realizing a truly differentiated autonomous mobility system that is safe, simple, and scalable in the next couple of years,” said Soroush Salehian, Aeva co-founder.

Watch a video about the technology and partnership here.