Four Challenges for Automotive LiDARs

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DesignNews publishes a list of four challenges that LiDARs have to overcome on the way to wide acceptance in vehicles:

Price reduction:

Every technology gets commoditized at some point. It will happen with LiDAR,” said Angus Pacala, co-founder and CEO of LiDAR startup Ouster. “Automotive radars used to be $15,000. Now, they are $50. And it did take 15 years. We’re five years into a 15-year lifecycle for LiDAR. So, cost isn’t going to be a problem.

Increase detection range:

Range isn’t always range,” said John Eggert, director of automotive sales and marketing at Velodyne. “[It’s] dynamic range. What do you see and when can you see it? We see a lot of ‘specs’ around 200 meters. What do you see at 200 meters if you have a very reflective surface? Most any LiDAR can see at 100, 200, 300 meters. Can you see that dark object? Can you get some detections off a dark object? It’s not just a matter of reputed range, but range at what reflectivity? While you’re able to see something very dark and very far away, how about something very bright and very close simultaneously?

Improve robustness:

It comes down to vibration and shock, wear and tear, cleaning—all the aspects that we see on our cars,” said Jada Smith, VP engineering and external affairs at Aptiv, Delphi spin-off. “LiDAR systems have to be able to withstand that. We need perfection in the algorithms. We have to be confident that the use cases are going to be supported time and time again.

Withstand the environment and different weather conditions:

Jim Schwyn, CTO of Valeo North America, said “What if the LiDAR is dirty? Are we in a situation where we are going to take the gasoline tank from a car and replace it with a windshield washer reservoir to be able to keep these things clean?

The potentially fatal LiDAR flaws that need to be corrected:

  • Bright sun against a white background
  • A blizzard that causes whiteout conditions
  • Early morning fog
Another article on somewhat similar matter has been published by Lidarradar.com:

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