China’s WM Motor unveils LiDAR-equipped M7 electric sedan

China’s WM Motor unveils LiDAR-equipped M7 electric sedan

Chinese electric car startup WM Motor claims that it’s recently unveiled highly anticipated M7 flagship electric sedan is quite unique compared to rival automakers’ electric models. The new all-electric four-door flagship sedan boasts a unique look, and comes loaded with "superb hardware" and high tech specs. Undoubtedly, the new EV has a number of remarkable features and specs, but the most outstanding of them is LiDAR technology.

LiDAR is a Light Detection and Ranging technology that helps in determining ranges (variable distance) by hitting an object with a laser and measuring the time that the reflected light takes to return to the receiver. Automobile manufacturers are trying to use it enable their autonomous vehicles to run smoothly and avoid collisions by detecting the obstructions ahead (pedestrians other vehicles on roads). The technology has the potential to improve the safety of the commuters and makes autonomous vehicles less prone to accidents.

Many safety experts are of the view that LiDAR technology could be the perfect answer to produce safe and successful semi-autonomous and eventually self-driving electric cars, which are believed to be the future of public as well as transport. However, this technology is quite expensive. Moreover, it is not easy to hide. Thus, the question arises here is: will potential cars buyers in China will opt for a car with a "bulge" (LiDAR) on the roof? In simple words, the electric sedan’s bold design may have an impact on the buyers’ decision.

The newly introduced WM Motor M7 electric sedan features a large bump on its roof in addition to palpable cameras on both sides of the LiDAR equipment. In total, the all-electric M7 has three LiDAR units accompanied by 32 sensors and several 78-megapixel cameras. The new EV is undoubtedly not very attractive in terms of its outer appearance or looks.

According to CnEVPost, “The M7 has as many as 32 sensors. In addition to the 3 LiDARs, it has 5 millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic radars, 7 8-megapixel cameras, 4 surround-view cameras, and 1 independent high precision positioning module. Such a large number of sensors also mean they require powerful chips to process a large amount of environmental information collected."

Shanghai, China-headquartered WM Motor has not yet revealed any information related to the M7’s pricing, but it has indicated that mass production and deliveries of the fully-electric sedan will likely start sometime in 2022.