Electronic enthusiast network reported (text / Liang Haobin) lidar ushered in a wave of quantity dispute in the second half of last year, from one, two, to four, the number is increasing, and even a brand wantonly declared that “don’t talk below four”. However, the new car notice recently released by Baidu’s Jidu automobile has attracted new controversy.

Where should the lidar be placed? How many? Big guys end up arguing

In March last year, baidu cooperated with Geely to establish Jidu automobile, which will develop new cars on Geely’s vast sea pure electric architecture. It was originally scheduled to debut the first model of Jidu on April 18 this year, but it was forced to postpone due to the impact of the epidemic. However, on April 18, Jidu released some information about its first model, of which the most eye-catching was the two liftable lidars on the front hatch cover.

Source: microblog @ Jidu automobile

In the concept map released by Jidu, it shows that the only two lidars on this model are located on both sides of the center of the front compartment cover, which is easy to remind people of the very popular “jump light” design on cars in the 1980s and 1990s.

This maverick design has aroused heated discussion among the car makers of the new forces. Li Xiang, CEO of ideal automobile, believes that the optimal solution is to put the lidar on the roof, except that the shape is a little strange. “There is no difference in performance between one on the roof and two on the hood or bumper. Even the single one on the top of the head will have better performance. However, the roof is the best in pedestrian collision, maintenance cost and vibration control (linking the main body). The only problem is that the shape of the roof lidar will need to be adapted, because it is too much like a mobile soldier – up to.”

Xia Yiping, CEO of Jidu automobile, also responded in the message, saying that one and two lidars, 120 degree FOV and 180 degree FOV are still different, and the corner cases solved are also different, so there are still differences in product capability, experience and even safety.

He Xiaopeng, CEO of Xiaopeng automobile, later joined the discussion. On the number of lidars, contrary to Li Xiang’s point of view, he Xiaopeng wrote in the circle of friends that the performance of two lidars must be much better than that of one, and the difference can be seen in urban NGP and robustness in the future. He also revealed that Xiaopeng car first wanted to put two lidars on the roof, but no matter what the design was, it was similar to the rake ears of a rabbit, and later gave up.

Of course, with regard to the installation position of lidar, some people think that it is best to install it in the lamp. Xia Yiping also said earlier that it is not necessarily to install it in the lamp, but the integration and integration of lidar and lamp must be a trend.

Shen Hui, CEO of Weima automobile, said that the lidar layout of 1 + 2 on both sides of the head of his M7 may be the optimal solution for the current perception level and safety balance. There are too few blind spots and too many meaningless. Shen Hui also believes that a simple dispute over the number and location of lidar is of little significance. In the short term, it depends on the cost and technology in the long term. Maybe when the sensing hardware is good enough, pure vision is the end. As for how to understand this sentence, different people have different opinions.

Innovation or sensationalism? Comparison of lidar installation schemes

By sorting out the models that have been released and equipped with lidar, we can basically divide the installation positions of forward lidar into roof, under headlights and near the central grid. Of course, there are also models equipped with lateral or even backward lidar, but the number is generally small, which will be discussed later.

Et7 source: Official Website of Weilai automobile

The first is the model placed on the roof, that is, above the windshield. At present, Weilai et7 and ideal L9 have been released. After all, standing high and looking far, the main advantage of lidar installed on the roof is that it has a wider field of vision and better perception of the road conditions. It can even recognize incoming vehicles in the opposite lane on the highway. At the same time, due to the high position, the lidar is less likely to be damaged. However, there are also some disadvantages. For example, there may be a blind area in the recognition of some low-speed or close road obstacles in low-speed scenes. In addition, due to the prominent body, it will have a certain impact on the appearance and wind noise. For example, the roof of Weilai et7 will produce some wind noise that can not be ignored in high-speed road conditions.

In addition, it is installed near the China open, which is also the preferred position of traditional car companies. This installation position is adopted by Audi A8 and Mercedes Benz S class, because the lidar is installed in its own black China open, which can avoid the sense of conflict visually and does not affect the appearance of the whole vehicle. But obviously, the problem caused by the low position is that the field of vision is easy to be blocked. For example, if it is close to the vehicle in front, it may be blocked by most of the field of vision. Another problem is that near the China open, including the front bumper, are the most prone positions to scratch, and the lidar is more vulnerable to damage in these positions.

Xiaopeng G9 source: Xiaopeng auto official website

Similarly, for example, the two forward facing lidars of Xiaopeng P5 are distributed on both sides of the front anti-collision bar, and the two forward facing lidars of Xiaopeng G9 are under the headlights. These positions may increase the probability of damage to the lidar.

The lidar is placed on the front hatch cover of the car and the lifting design is adopted, which really creates a new idea. The lifting mode is adopted. Firstly, when it is closed, it does not affect the appearance of the vehicle body. In addition, compared with the lidar installed in the central grid and the front anti-collision bar, the damage probability is greatly reduced.

However, Li would like to mention a key point. At present, the location of lidar on Jidu vehicles cannot pass the latest Pedestrian Collision Regulations. In June last year, the key points of automobile standardization in 2021 released by the Ministry of industry and information technology mentioned that in the field of automobile safety, we should focus on the revision and improvement of mandatory national standards for complete vehicles and parts such as pedestrian protection, front and rear end protection and external protrusions, and promote the upgrading of passive safety standards.

According to the newly revised “collision protection of vehicles against pedestrians”, it will test the upper area of the hood, that is, the protection of pedestrians by the front hatch cover. Obviously, the design of installing retractable lidar on the front hatch cover may cause secondary injury to pedestrians.

Of course, the official of Jidu also said that the model currently displayed is only the concept version, which is 90% consistent with the mass production vehicle in appearance. Maybe the remaining 10% is the change of lidar position.

Write at the end:

The discussion of lidar by the leaders of the new forces of car making reflects that the industry has not yet determined the best scheme for the application of lidar to a certain extent. At the same time, manufacturers are also exploring an appropriate model in different ways, including finding a balance from the two dimensions of the most basic position and quantity.

Of course, the large-scale boarding of lidar only started in the second half of last year. Even the technical circuit of lidar itself is still in the stage of letting a hundred flowers bloom. Therefore, a series of disputes about lidar may continue to ferment for a long time in the future.

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