Like Tesla Autopilot, Fisker driver assistance tech won’t use lidar

The Fisker Ocean electric SUV will feature a new driver-assistance system developed in partnership with automotive supplier Magna, the two companies announced Monday. Dubbed Fisker Intelligent Pilot, the system will be analogous to Tesla Autopilot. Like the Tesla system, it also won’t have lidar among its suite of sensors, at least, not initially. Fisker Intelligent […]

The Fisker Ocean electric SUV will feature a new driver-assistance system developed in partnership with automotive supplier Magna, the two companies announced Monday.

Dubbed Fisker Intelligent Pilot, the system will be analogous to Tesla Autopilot. Like the Tesla system, it also won’t have lidar among its suite of sensors, at least, not initially.

Fisker Intelligent Pilot will use cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and a new digital-imaging radar from Texas-based startup Uhnder, a Magna release said.

However, lidar is off the table for now because of high costs, Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said in an interview with Reuters. So far, Tesla remains the only company selling such a system in the United States without lidar.

Fisker Intelligent Pilot

Fisker Intelligent Pilot

Fisker and Magna did not provide details on the capabilities of the system, which is expected to be ready in time for the Ocean’s 2022 launch. They did say the hardware was engineered “to support future upgrades, higher levels of autonomy, and advanced driver-assistance features,” added through over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

The technology also might not be exclusive to Fisker. Magna boss Swamy Kotagiri told Reuters the system developed with Fisker represented a “great base for other opportunities” with other EV makers.

Fisker is already relying on Magna to manufacture the Ocean at a European factory, and will use the supplier’s FM29 platform as the basis for the SUV, after a deal with Volkswagen fell through. The platform might also be used for immediate follow-up models—like a pickup—although neither company has revealed how wide-ranging the business agreement might be.

Reservations for the Ocean opened November 27, 2019—before the SUV was unveiled at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show the following January. Fisker went public several months later, but it’s still unclear if the funding the company has accumulated will be enough to get the Ocean into production.