Autonomous vehicles are unlike any other type of road car because they all must incorporate lots of hardware into their designs, such as lidar for Level 3 self-driving. BMW’s plan here is to integrate lidar sensors behind its famed twin-kidney grille. Not so difficult, right? However, Level 4 is where things get especially challenging. The greater number of sensors makes them more difficult to hide.
Instead of only being at the front, more sensors are required to be located throughout the vehicle to provide a complete 360-degree view of everything happening around it at every moment. Successfully integrating these sensors into a vehicle’s body in a seamless manner can be done, but yet another issue arises: cost.
The more sensors needed for full self-driving adds to any vehicle’s sticker price. At present, this level of sensor technology isn’t even on the market but once it arrives it’ll be anything but cheap.