On November 2, 2022, Hesai Technology (Chinese: 禾赛科技) officially introduced the FT120, an all-solid-state near blind spot LiDAR designed for mass production ADAS vehicles. This product is currently believed to have received hourly contract orders of millions of units from multiple vehicle manufacturers, with mass production deliveries expected to begin in the second half of 2023.
The new product, the FT120, features a 100° x 75° ultra-wide FOV with a maximum detection range of 100 meters. It can perceive surrounding objects such as street signs, guardrails, small animals, traffic cones and crosswalks in real time, providing essential blind spot perception for the vehicle to avoid accidents.
With a data rate of 192,000 points per second (on a single return) and a total resolution of 160 (H) x 120 (V), the FT120 can detect rich subject details and collect real-time environmental information .
Compared to traditional LiDAR, the total number of components in the FT120 is greatly reduced, with no moving parts inside. This design greatly improves product reliability, production efficiency and consistency. Unlike ordinary Flash technical solutions, Hesai’s new product possesses higher flexibility with complex electrical circuit management. Equipped with a highly integrated infrastructure, the FT120 can maintain its product performance with a relatively small product size.
Recently, the monthly shipment of the company’s star product AT128 reached over 10,000 units this September, making Hesai Technology the first global automotive LiDAR company to reach a milestone of 10,000 units of monthly shipment.
Hesai Technology’s co-founder and CEO, Yifan Li, acknowledged that the company has done an outstanding job of ensuring that products meet a “strict automotive standard with considerations including cost, quality, design and product quality.”
The LiDAR industry is entering a stage of rapid development, and thus production has become a prerequisite to ensure continuous iterative technological development and quality control. At Hesai, manufacturing is a key component that can hardly be outsourced from R&D. Yifan Li mentioned that “production is part of R&D”. The company’s technical director Shaoqing Xiang added that Hesai started assembling its products when the company had only 20 employees.
With an investment of approximately US$200 million, the company plans to establish an intelligent manufacturing center called “Maxwell” in Shanghai, which is expected to have an annual production capacity of 1.2 million units and achieve mass production while meeting the for customization.
Hesai is actively seeking opportunities abroad. In a report titled “LiDAR 2022 – Focus on Automotive and Industry” released by French consulting firm Yole Group, Hesai achieved a 58% market share in the L4 autonomous LiDAR industry while fulfilling 27% of pre-installed global contract orders for control. These two statistics rank first in the world.
Yifan Li considers globalization an inevitable trend in the AD and ADAS industry. Currently, Hesai’s customers consist of global mainstream autonomous driving companies, tier-one car manufacturers, tier-one suppliers and robotics companies located in over 40 countries and 90 cities around the world.
Based on public data, in 2021, roughly half of Hesai Technology’s revenue came from overseas. When talking about Hesai’s advantages in the overseas market, Yifan Li agreed that the company’s capabilities in terms of mass production and production efficiency are beyond its overseas competitors.
The CEO has faith in the long-term value in a fast-moving industry like LiDAR. As a result, Yifan Li believes that Hesai did “many things that are of little benefit in the short term, but are essential and of great benefit in the long term.” Therefore, EqualOcean firmly believes that in the future, Chinese companies will have the best LiDAR products in the world.