In recent years, the market for Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology has experienced exponential growth, fueled by the increasing demand for precision sensing and autonomous technologies. LIDAR, a remote sensing method that uses laser light to measure distances and create high-resolution maps, has become a crucial component in various industries, including automotive, robotics, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. With its ability to provide accurate and real-time data, LIDAR is unlocking a multitude of opportunities and revolutionizing the way we perceive and interact with our environment.
Understanding LIDAR Technology:
LiDAR is an advanced remote sensing method used to measure the distance of an object on surface of earth, which mainly consists of a laser, scanner, and specialized Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.
LIDAR technology utilizes laser pulses emitted from a sensor to measure the time it takes for the light to bounce back after hitting an object. By calculating the time of flight and the wavelength of the returned light, LIDAR systems can accurately determine the distance and shape of the target. With the help of advanced algorithms and multiple sensors, LIDAR can create highly detailed 3D maps and point clouds, enabling precise object recognition, tracking, and spatial analysis.
There are several applications for LiDAR, including geography, mineral extraction, forestry, civil engineering, architecture, and archaeology. In addition, LiDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are using LiDAR to produce more accurate shoreline maps, make digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, assist in emergency response operations, and many other applications.
Over the years, advancements in LiDAR mapping systems and their enabling technologies penetrated different verticals, such as aerospace and defense, corridor mapping and topographical survey, automotive, mining, Oil & Gas, and other verticals, which are driving market revenue growth.
For deeper understanding on LIDARs and its applications please visit: LiDAR Technology Innovations: From Mapping to Self-Driving Cars
LIDAR in Automotive Industry:
One of the major drivers of LIDAR market growth is the automotive sector. LIDAR sensors are playing a pivotal role in the development of autonomous vehicles, providing them with a comprehensive view of their surroundings. By generating accurate real-time data about the vehicle’s environment, LIDAR enhances object detection, lane tracking, and collision avoidance capabilities. The automotive industry recognizes LIDAR as an indispensable technology for achieving higher levels of autonomy and ensuring passenger safety.
Furthermore, advancements in solid-state LIDAR technology are reducing the cost and increasing the reliability of LIDAR systems, making them more accessible to mass-market vehicles. This breakthrough is propelling the widespread adoption of LIDAR in the automotive industry and opening up opportunities for LIDAR manufacturers to cater to the needs of both traditional automakers and emerging players in the electric and autonomous vehicle market.
LIDAR in Robotics and Industrial Applications:
Beyond the automotive sector, LIDAR is finding applications in robotics and industrial settings. Robots equipped with LIDAR sensors can navigate complex environments, avoid obstacles, and improve their ability to interact with objects in real-time. Industries such as logistics, warehousing, and manufacturing are leveraging LIDAR technology to optimize operations, enhance productivity, and ensure worker safety.
In addition, LIDAR is being utilized in precision agriculture for crop monitoring, yield estimation, and autonomous farming. By capturing detailed information about soil conditions, crop health, and topography, LIDAR enables farmers to make data-driven decisions, optimize resource allocation, and increase agricultural efficiency.
Environmental Monitoring and Beyond:
LIDAR technology is also proving its worth in environmental monitoring and conservation efforts. From mapping forests and tracking deforestation to assessing the impact of climate change on coastal areas, LIDAR provides scientists and researchers with invaluable data for studying and preserving our natural surroundings. The ability to capture accurate terrain models and analyze vegetation density is vital in identifying potential risks and managing ecosystems effectively.
The LiDAR Market size was USD 1.1 billion in 2020 garnered around USD 2 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $20.03 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 28.4% from 2022 to 2029.
The growth is driven by factors such as increasing adoption of LIDAR in autonomous vehicles, rising demand for 3D mapping and surveying, and growing use of LIDAR in various applications such as robotics, drones, and security and surveillance.
The rising adoption of LiDAR systems in UAVs, increasing adoption of LiDAR in engineering and construction applications, use of LiDAR in geographical information systems (GIS) applications, the emergence of 4D LiDAR, and easing of regulations related to use of commercial drones in different applications are among the factors driving the growth of the LiDAR market.
LiDAR technology applications growth is predicted in government and commercial areas, which include railways, roadways management, and forestry, like urban planning and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The advanced driver assistance systems ADAS application segment is expected to grow at a remarkable pace owing to the surging incorporation in automotive safety and forward-collision avoidance systems; for instance, in Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems to reduce the number of car crashes.
Nowadays, telehealth services are used for disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management. The implications of this anatomical imagery made possible by LiDAR could improve the accuracy and customization of telemedicine. Hence the rise in hospitals, and initiatives towards infrastructure development in healthcare delivery are increasing demand for LiDARs.
Rise of UAV and Satellite Demand
Rising demand for UAVs or drones for various applications, such as photography and videography, construction, and identifying threats, among others, is a major factor driving revenue growth of the market. An aircraft without a human pilot, crew, or passengers is referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone.
UAV LiDAR system typically consists of several sensors, such as a LiDAR sensor, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers to locate the pulse, and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to ascertain orientation and speed of payload. For creation of precise and accurate 3D maps and models, UAV LiDAR can be utilized as an alternative to conventional LiDAR types and platforms. LiDAR has been successfully used to produce precise and thorough 3D terrain bitmap image models.
Furthermore, Lidar technology is advancing quickly and provides viable alternatives to the old-fashioned airborne Lidar surveys conducted by planes or helicopters. Numerous applications show that drone-based airborne Lidar scans are frequently less expensive, quicker, and safer. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) or Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) can be produced using airborne Lidar scanners.
In addition to that, forestry, agriculture, geology mapping, watershed and river surveys, hazard assessment including (lava flows, landslides, tsunamis, and floods), and other land management and planning activities all made use of LiDARs. LiDARs can be utilized in high-resolution geological mapping. For instance, a report has been published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) publications, on high-resolution mapping of material blocks in buildings and infrastructures in Austria and Germany. In order to map patterns of material supplies for Austria and Germany, maps of built-up surface area, building height, and building kinds were created from optical Sentinal-2 and radar sentinel-1 satellite data. The mass of various buildings and infrastructure types were computed, identifying 9 different types of materials, at a special resolution of 10m using material intensity factors. In 2018, there were 39 Gt of buildings and infrastructures in Germany and 6 Gt in Austria.
LiDAR systems for space-based active remote sensing of the earth face a number of challenges owing to high power requirement in various systems. Lack of ability to sense the environment and use of perceptual information for controlling the technology are the major challenges faced by the operators. However, flash systems based on multi-element and 2D sensor arrays yield 3D imaging data, but are restricted from installing in UGV and robotic platforms owing to high cost.
However, the safety risks associated with UAVs and autonomous vehicles restrain the growth of this market. Increasing OEM investments in LiDAR start-ups offer market growth opportunities. However, the high cost of installing LiDAR systems is a challenge for market growth.
LiDAR technologies are very expensive, costing from USD 8,000 to USD 30,000 per system. Electronic and mechanical components included in a rooftop LiDAR system have been reduced to a single silicon chip by electrical engineers at Stanford. Heat, especially high temperatures, can also impair the sensor’s performance and the drone’s overall functionality, resulting in less precise readings. Since excessive water depth will influence the reflection of pulses, it may not produce correct data when used on water surfaces or where the surface is not uniform, which is also restraining revenue growth of the market.
Growing concerns regarding climate change to augment demand for bathymetric LiDAR solutions
The bathymetric product segment is anticipated to exhibit a growth rate of around 20% through 2030. Growing concerns surrounding climate change, and rising sea levels have increased the importance of gaining more insights into coastlines through airborne mapping solutions.
In August 2022, Hexagon collaborated with conservation NGO Beneath The Waves to help safeguard the marine ecosystem in the Bahamas. R-evolution, the company’s sustainability business venture, involves the use of an advanced airborne bathymetric technology from Leica Geosystems to determine the composition, condition volume, and extent of the region’s endangered seagrass ecosystem.
Surging advancements in solid-state LiDAR
Additionally, the development of solid-state LIDAR technology is also expected to drive market growth. Furthermore, increasing investments in LiDAR startups by automotive giants, opportunities for Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR)-based design in long term, technological shifts with adoption of solid state, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), flash LiDAR, and other LiDAR technologies, development of better geospatial solutions using sensor fusion, and initiatives undertaken by governments of different countries to encourage use of LiDAR drones for large-scale surveys are expected to provide growth opportunities to LiDAR market players and drive market revenue growth during the forecast period.
The solid-state LiDAR market is expected to register gains of at approximately 50% through 2030. Solid-state LiDARs are affordable and offer high performance compared to conventional LiDAR solutions, which has attributed to market expansion. Scientists have made significant advancements in solid-state LiDAR technology to enhance its capabilities.
Based on component, the LiDAR market is divided into laser scanner, sensors, navigation and positioning systems, and others. The laser scanner segment is further sub-segmented into laser type and scanner type. The sensors segment is further sub-segmented into NIR sensor, SWIR sensor, and other sensors.
The laser scanner segment accounted for the largest revenue share in 2021.
The laser scanner segment accounted for largest revenue share in the global LiDAR market in 2021 This is due to significant investments in manufacturing of cost-effective and high-volume scanning components and overcoming drawbacks associated with LiDAR system.
Market companies operating in various countries are designing and manufacturing LiDAR sub-system components that produce a large Field of View (FoV) than conventional LiDAR components. In addition, investments are made to handle rugged high-vibration automotive and aerial by product type applications. Improved operational reliability, reduced cost of manufacturing, and robust design to better handle temperature volatility are among other key factors driving revenue growth of this segment.
The sensors segment is expected to register a robust revenue growth rate during the forecast period. This is due to rapid technological advancements in end-use industries and significant
investments in ultra-thin solid-state LiDAR sensor that sees 360 degrees. For instance, LiDAR is a well-known rangefinding technique that detects objects by shining light onto them. In the automotive industry, a LiDAR sensor serves as an eye for autonomous vehicles, assisting them in determining the distance to surrounding objects as well as vehicle’s speed or direction.
Based on technology, the global LiDAR market is segmented into solid state and mechanical.
The mechanical segment accounted for largest revenue share in 2021.
The mechanical segment accounted for a significant revenue share in the global LiDAR market in 2021 Mechanical scanning LiDARs can physically rotate a laser/receiver assembly or use a spinning mirror to guide a light beam to collect data over a large region of up to 360 degrees. Powerful and collimated lasers are employed in mechanical scanning LiDARs to focus on return signal through tightly focused optics onto the detector. Although, these offer a thorough mapping of surroundings, but are not a preferred alternative for industrial installations in automotive and mobility applications due to their high cost (between several and tens of thousands of dollars), complexity, reliability concerns, and enormous size. Automotive-grade
The solid state segment accounted for a significant revenue share in 2021. Solid state can be used to describe a laser source or detector when semiconductors are involved. Solid-state Lidar are often divided into three categories, flash LiDAR, Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) LiDAR, and Optical Phased Array (OPA) LiDAR. Innovative nanophotonics-based devices with high potential and superior advantages can be used in a LiDAR sensor owing to enhanced optics technology, including flash-based LiDAR, MEMS-based LiDAR, and OPA-based LiDAR. Even though moving microelements are used to change laser’s direction in MEMS-based LiDARs, it is frequently asserted that these come under this category. A solid-state system implies that there are no moving parts. Aeva, Aurora, Intel, and other major players recently adopted FMCW technology that masquerades as a solid-state.
The 4D Segment Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on dimension type, the 4D segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to the high adoption of 4D LiDAR in applications such as self-driving cars, robots, and other autonomous systems. Besides automobiles, 4D LiDAR has architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), entertainment, and AR/VR applications.
The Flash LiDAR Segment Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on technology, the flash LiDAR segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to emerging usage and high preferences for autonomous vehicles and defense. Flash LiDAR is widely deployed in autonomous cars with ADAS capabilities and robotics application where high speed and precision is required to create infographics. According to McKinsey Insights, by 2030, around 15% of vehicles are expected to be autonomous. Furthermore, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plans to implement flash LiDAR to increase accuracy in the weather forecast.
The Terrestrial Segment Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on installation type, the terrestrial segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Terrestrial LiDAR can be mobile and stationary and operates only on the surface of the Earth. Static terrestrial scanning is a frequently preferred survey method for monitoring, conventional topography, forensics, and cultural heritage documentation. Mobile & UAV LiDAR operates in both mobile and aerial modes and works on Earth’s surface and surrounding environment.
The 1550 nm Segment Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on wavelength, the 1550 nm segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Utilization of the 1550 nm wavelength is growing due to its higher eye safety and potential to detect low reflectivity targets within a radius of 300 m.
The Medium Range Segment is Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on range, the medium range segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to the growing usage across engineering and environmental applications such as ecological land and classification and archaeology. Medium range LiDAR is widely used to capture the building structure.
The Ground-based Survey Segment is Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on service, the ground-based survey segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to its potential to collect a million points of data per second over the ground area, making it an exceptionally fast method of surveying. The ground-based survey gives much more accurate information for accurate ecological and land use classification. This survey is used to map the forests by measuring the vertical structures of the canopy and its density.
The Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Segment is Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Based on application, the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to the surging incorporation of LiDAR-based sensors in various automotive safety applications. In the last few years, assisted driving automobiles have gained traction in the market; these automobiles use cameras and LiDAR to sense the environment around them and avoid accidents. For instance, in July 2019, Velodyne Lidar Inc., a California-based Lidar technology company, announced the acquisition of localization and mapping software from Mapper.ai, Inc. This development aimed to boost the company’s ADAS system production.
The Government Segment is Expected to Account for the Largest Market Share
Based on end-use industry, in 2022, the government bodies segment is expected to account for the largest share of the global LiDAR market. The large market share of this segment is attributed to the need for surveying and monitoring surroundings, including forest management, coastline management, pollution modeling, agriculture, wind farms, and precision forestry.
The global LiDAR market is segmented into five major regions including North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa region.
The North American market accounted for the largest revenue share in 2021.
The North America LiDAR market share surpassed USD 900 million in 2021 impelled by rising demand for self-driving cars in the region. LiDAR technology offers long-range operability and a higher resolution which has enabled automotive manufacturers to integrate this system into their vehicles.
This is due to increasing investments in Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) and driverless cars and rising awareness about benefits of LiDAR systems. Besides, major players in the LiDAR market, comprising manufacturers, developers, distributors, and suppliers of LiDAR sensors and equipment, are based in North America.
In the recent years, major technological developments pertaining to LiDAR have taken place in North American and European regions, which have enabled manufacturers in these regions to export high-end LiDAR to growing markets such as Asia Pacific and the Middle East. These exports are one of the key factors expected to drive market revenue growth.
By 2030, it is anticipated that there will be 21 million autonomous vehicles on American roads. According to the statistics on autonomous vehicles, legislation on self-driving cars is being considered in 42 states. Also, Waymo, an American firm that develops autonomous driving technologies had produced over 620 driverless cars. Additionally, there are around 50 key suppliers in North America.
The Asia Pacific market registered fastest revenue growth rate in 2021 owing to adoption of LiDAR technologies. India is using LiDAR technologies for surveying and mapping operations. Mapping technology got an accelerated push with introduction of LiDAR, which is especially true and holds huge potential.
In the recent years, India has seen increasing number of new companies that have positioned themselves as holistic geospatial or geo-intelligence providers. As more and more uses for this technology are found every day, LiDAR technology in India and its applications are currently reaching new heights.
Furthermore, LiDAR sensor in Japan is a key technology for the future process of automation, or highly automated, fully automated, and autonomous driving. In Japan, LiDAR systems are also
employed in the automobile industry to sense environment, aid in orientation, detect obstructions, and measure distances, ensuring increased safety and efficiency on congested highways and in automated industrial settings, which is expected to drive market revenue growth. For example, on July 2022, Innoviz Technologies Ltd. announced that Japan Post, which provides banking, life & non-life insurance agency, postal, and logistical services, plans to create
digital maps using Innoviz’s high-performance InnovizOne LiDAR sensor, opening the way for next generation of smart city services such as autonomous driving and unmanned delivery
The Europe market accounted for a significantly fast revenue share in 2021. This is due to rising demand for mechanical LiDAR in industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and industrial purposes is. In addition, market growth is also driven by presence of companies such as Hexagon AB, Sick AG, Leoshpere, and others. On June 2022, Leica Geosystems launched its new LiDAR sensor Leica Chiroptera-5, to capture terrain data of coastal and inland waters to enable risk mitigation and more informed decision-making. This high-performance airborne sensor,
combines topographic and bathymetric LiDAR channels with a 4-band camera to deliver seamless data from water to land. The system provides 40% higher point density, 20% increase in water depth penetration, and improved topographic sensitivity compared to previous generations.
The top contenders involved in the LiDAR market include Beijing SureStar Technology Co. Ltd., Innoviz Technologies Ltd, LeddarTech Inc., NV5 Inc. (Quantum Spatial), FARO Technologies, Inc., Geokno, Teledyne Technologies (Teledyne Optech), Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc., Hexagon AB (Leica Geosystem), Outster Inc., Quanergy Systems, Inc., RIEGL Laser Measurement
Systems GmbH, RoboSense LiDAR, Sick AG, Trimble Inc., Vaisala (Leosphere), Valeo, Velodyne Lidar, and Yellowscan. Some companies are devising strategic product launches to extend their portfolio and reinforce their market position.
On 9 November 2022, RoboSense launched E1, a high-performance flash solid-state LiDAR. It is a new product platform based on area array transceiver technology and application-specific designed circuits. E1 will assist partners to further bridge the gap in smart driving perception and improve all-scenario perception capability of automated and autonomous vehicles.
On 18 November 2022, Continental AG partnered with Ambarella to offer advanced driver assistance systems solutions based on CV3 Artificial Intelligence (AI) System-on-Chip (SoC) family. These sensor solutions include high-resolution cameras, radars, lidars as well as ultrasonic sensors. The high-performance, power-efficient, and scalable SoC range designed for ADAS applications complements Continental’s assisted driving solutions and improves vehicle automation.
For instance, in July 2022, Mercedes-Benz announced the introduction of Driver Pilot, the carmaker’s Level 3 autonomous driving technology, in US-bound cars. This system uses LiDAR, cameras, and a 4-GPS antenna setup to extract data from the satellites.
As the demand for precision sensing and autonomous technologies continues to rise, the LIDAR market is poised for significant growth. Technological advancements are driving the development of more compact, cost-effective, and versatile LIDAR solutions that cater to a wide range of applications. Moreover, the integration of LIDAR with other sensors like cameras and radar is enhancing its capabilities and enabling more comprehensive perception systems.
Investments in research and development, along with strategic partnerships between LIDAR manufacturers and industry players, are accelerating innovation and fostering market growth. The increasing focus on regulations and standards for autonomous vehicles and safety is also expected to drive the adoption of LIDAR technology across industries.
The LIDAR market is experiencing a remarkable growth trajectory, fueled by the demand for precision sensing and autonomous technologies. LIDAR’s ability to provide high-resolution, real-time data is revolutionizing industries such as automotive, robotics, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. As advancements continue to improve LIDAR’s performance, reduce costs, and increase accessibility, we can expect to see even more exciting applications and opportunities emerging in the era of precision sensing and autonomous technologies. The future of LIDAR is bright, and it promises to reshape our world by enabling safer, more efficient, and sustainable solutions across various domains.
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