Lidar Innovator to Support Universities in Prestigious Four-Year Autonomous Driving Competition Program Co-hosted by General Motors and SAE International
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Cepton, Inc., an innovative provider of lidar-based solutions for automotive applications, announced today it has been selected as an official sponsor and exclusive lidar supplier for the prestigious AutoDrive Challenge™ II competition program.
The AutoDrive Challenge™ II is a four-year STEM education program in which ten universities in North America each form a dedicated team of faculty members and students to develop an autonomous vehicle (AV) that can navigate urban driving courses as described by SAE Standard (J3016™) Level 4 automation. Through the extensive program syllabus and a series of challenges and competitions, participants will garner irreplaceable hands-on experience designing and developing AV systems, using a variety of technologies — including sensors, computing platforms and software algorithms.
A key enabler of autonomous mobility, lidar technology is expected to play a pivotal role as participating teams implement efforts to enable their vehicles with advanced perception capabilities. As an official sponsor and the only lidar supplier in the program, Cepton will provide its high-performance lidar solutions to the teams to enable their integrated systems. Cepton will also work closely with the participants to help them fully utilize lidar’s capabilities as each team designs and develops an autonomous vehicle that can navigate simulated real-life driving scenarios through various tests in Mcity, a state-of-the-art test ground in Michigan where many leading automotive OEMs trial smart mobility projects.
“We are pleased to support AutoDrive Challenge II as a sponsor and the exclusive lidar supplier,” said Dr. Jun Pei, CEO of Cepton. “We felt this program offered us a fantastic opportunity to help advance the lidar education in both the automotive industry and academia.”
“Lidar is going mainstream with it being deployed in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in everyday consumer vehicles to be available in the next few years. This sensor technology is not only capable of improving vehicle safety but also critical in enabling higher levels of autonomy. We are dedicated to helping proliferate the benefits of lidar technology by focusing on increasing its mass-market scalability with our proprietary Micro Motion Technology (MMT®), which is designed to enable an optimal balance between performance, reliability and affordability. While we look forward to working with all the participants to help enhance their AV projects with lidar perception, we are also excited to learn from the experience working with such an intellectual community.”
Zac Pace, AutoDrive Challenge Program Manager at SAE International, said: “We are happy to have Cepton as part of the new season of AutoDrive Challenge. This is the first time we will provide participating teams with directional lidars for their autonomous vehicles. Based on Cepton’s previously announced high-volume ADAS lidar program award from a major global OEM, we believe Cepton lidars’ outstanding combination of performance, reliability and embeddability will enable participants to explore various possibilities for vehicle integration.”
Erik Nordstrom, Engineering Leader, AV LiDAR and Camera Technology at General Motors, added: “Bringing together technology companies, solutions providers, and universities is key to ensuring that the AutoDrive program remains successful. Not only does the addition of Cepton help to make the program more rewarding for students, but will help enhance advanced technology curriculum and cultivate the next generation of technology leaders.”
Through the AutoDrive Challenge II program, Cepton will be supporting teams from Kettering University, Michigan Technological University, North Carolina A&T State University, Pennsylvania State University-University Park, Queen’s University, Texas A&M University, The Ohio State University, University of Toronto, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. To learn more about Cepton’s involvement in the AutoDrive Challenge II, visit www.cepton.com/autodrive-challenge-ii or follow Cepton on LinkedIn to see competition updates.