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Lidar Market is Recovering, but Many Challenges Remain

November 2023

Lidar Market is Recovering, but Many Challenges Remain

LightCounting updates forecasts for 3D sensing in smartphones and automotive lidar markets

Annual shipments of smartphones are projected to decline again in 2023 due to weaker than expected demand. This will translate into lower sales of VCSEL arrays for 3D face recognition in smartphones, despite having one more supplier of phones using this technology. Huawei added 3D face recognition to their high-end phones in 2023 in a new challenge to Apple.

Sales of lidars for the automotive market are expected to increase by 50% in 2023, exceeding $600 million. Chinese manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs) are starting to deploy lidars on many of their models and scaling up production. Fully autonomous vehicles are a long-term target, but increasing safety with ADAS can be accomplished now and lidars are part of this transition.

Robotaxis took a new hit in late 2023, as the State of California revoked Cruse’s license for operating robotaxis after several accidents. As this report goes to print, Cruise is cutting jobs and plans to reduce its 2024 spending by hundreds of millions of dollars. The company lost more than $700 million in the third quarter and more than $8 billion since 2016.

In spite of the problems Cruise is having, its chief US competitor, self-driving car pioneer Waymo, is incrementally adding over 100,000 more riders to its commercial ride hailing service from its San Francisco waiting list. Another Cruise competitor Apollo Go, Baidu's autonomous ride-hailing service, provided close to one million rides in the third quarter of 2023, up 73% year over year, but their fleet of taxis is still modest (measured in hundreds).

We expect that sales of lidars for ADAS applications in Light Vehicles (LV) will result in rapidly growing sales in 2023-2028, as shown in the figure below. Deployments of lidars in Chinese EVs will lead the market growth. Robotaxis and autonomous truck will remain niche markets even by 2028.

Sales of lidars by application, historical data and forecast for 2023-2028

Optical Sensors November 2023

The report also includes a review of new optical technologies and products for bio-medical sensors.

More information on the report is available at:November 2023 Optical Sensors

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