LiDAR News: Blickfeld, Aeva, Outsight, Leddartech, First Sensor, Draper, SiLC, Robosense

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Blickfeld publishes an article explaining challenges of automotive MEMS LiDAR:

"In order to capture as much light as possible, a large aperture, i.e. as large a mirror as possible, is required. However, the mirror size is also limited by certain factors – it is therefore necessary to calculate the optimum size on the basis of these factors.

MEMS mirrors oscillate at a certain resonant frequency. The resonant frequency at which a mirror oscillates depends on the size and mounting of the mirror. For this purpose we have developed a proprietary embedding of the mirrors in order to be able to use particularly large mirrors. Due to the unusually large diameter, a large number of photons can be directed onto the scene and back onto the detector, which allows Blickfeld LiDAR sensors to achieve a long range. In addition, thanks to their size, the mirrors are more robust than conventional products, which are only a few millimeters in diameter. Yet, they have a high resonant frequency due to their lightweight construction which ensures that the photons are returned to the detector. If the mirror oscillates too quickly or too slowly, the photons are deflected past the detector due to the coaxial structure.

IEEE Spectrum, Reuters, Businesswire: Aeva announces its FMCW LiDAR that integrates all the key elements of a LiDAR sensor onto a photonics chip. Aeva’s 4D LiDAR-on-chip reduces the size and power of the device by orders of magnitude while achieving full range performance of over 300m for low reflective objects and the ability to measure instant velocity for every point. Aeva’s LiDAR-on-chip will cost less than $500 at scale, in contrast to the several tens of thousands of dollars for today’s LiDAR sensors.

Not all FMCW LiDARs are created equally,” said Mina Rezk, Co-Founder of Aeva. “A key differentiator of our approach is breaking the dependency between maximum range and points density, which has been a barrier for time-of-flight and FMCW LiDARs so far. Our 4D LiDAR integrates multiple beams on a chip, each beam uniquely capable of measuring more than 2 million points per second at distances beyond 300m.

Aeva promises to unveil at CES 2020 its next generation LiDAR, Aeries, features a 120-degree FOV at only half the size of Aeva’s first product. Aeries meets the final production requirements for autonomous driving robo-taxis and large volume ADAS customers and will be available for use in development vehicles in the first half of 2020.

We have scanned the market closely and believe Aeva’s 4D LiDAR on a chip technology is the best LiDAR solution on the market, solving a fundamental bottleneck for perception in taking autonomous driving to mass scale,” said Alex Hitzinger, SVP of Autonomous Driving at VW Group and CEO of VW Autonomy GmbH. “Together we are looking into using Aeva’s 4D LiDAR for our VW ID Buzz AV, which is scheduled to launch in 2022/23.

EIN Presswire: The French startup Outsight announces it has raised $20M in seed funding. Outsight's 3D Semantic Camera can includes hyperspectral-based detection of the material composition of objects.

Earlier, Outsight announced a collaboration with Faurecia and Safran. Founded in 2019 by Cedric Hutchings and Raul Bravo, Outsight launched its 3D Semantic Camera in September.

Our 3D Semantic Camera is not only a new device but a change of paradigm where Situation Awareness becomes plug&play for the first time: we’re creating a new category of solutions that will unleash tremendous business value. We’re proud of having the support of such solid and knowledgeable investors that share our ambition,” said Raul Bravo, President co-founder of Outsight.

Globenewswire: LeddarTech announces a strategic collaboration with First Sensor AG that is also now joining the Leddar Ecosystem.

LeddarTech, with the support of First Sensor and other industry leaders, is developing the only open and comprehensive LiDAR platform option for OEMs and Tier1s. The platform provides the following benefits:

LeddarTech and First Sensor will develop a LiDAR Evaluation Kit, a demonstration tool for Tier 1s and system integrators to develop their own LiDAR based on LeddarEngine technology, First Sensor APDs, and additional ecosystem partners’ technologies, products, and services. The evaluation kit will be primarily targeting automotive front LiDAR applications for high-speed highway driving such as Highway Pilot and Traffic Jam Assist.

Draper unveils LiDAR with MEMS beamsteering. Draper’s all-digital switches provide robustness for the harsh automotive environment, which carries advantages over competing solid-state approaches that rely on analog beamsteering. With Draper’s LiDAR, light is emitted through a matrix of optical switches and collected through the same optical switches, which allows for a favorable signal-to-noise ratio, since little ambient light is collected.

Draper’s LiDAR is being developed to image a range of hundreds of meters while providing a corresponding angular resolution targeted at less than 0.1-degrees, a significant advancement over competing LiDAR systems, many of which offer lower range and resolution.

At Draper, we have experience with differing beamsteering methods, such as optical phased arrays. However, we feel MEMS optical switches provide an elegant simplicity,” said Sabrina Mansur, Draper’s self-driving vehicle program manager. “If we want to image a target at a specified location, we simply enable the corresponding optical switch, whereas other approaches rely on precise analog steering, which is challenging given automotive’s thermal and vibration environment.

The new offering which is available to license, adds to Draper’s all-weather LiDAR technology, named Hemera, a detection capability designed to see through dense fog and is compatible with most LiDAR systems.

PRNewswire: SiLC Technologies, a developer of integrated single-chip FMCW LiDAR, and Varroc Lighting Systems announces a seamless LiDAR integration into a production automotive headlamp. The Varroc Lighting Systems headlamp is based on a sophisticated production LED design and leverages four of SiLC's silicon photonics FMCW vision chips providing a full 20 x 80-degree FOV per headlamp.

SiLC's 1550nm LiDAR chip can be inconspicuously embedded anywhere on a vehicle for optimal vision and safety. SiLC's 4D+ Vision Chip integrates all required functionality, such as a coherent light source and optical signal processing, to enable additional information to be extracted from the returning photons before their conversion to electrons. SiLC's vision sensor can detect height, width, distance, reflectivity, velocity, and light polarization of objects. The coherent interferometric sensing approach improves achievable accuracy by orders of magnitude over existing technologies. SiLC's 4D+ Vision Chip can detect low reflectance objects beyond 200m, providing enough time for a vehicle to avoid an obstacle at highway speeds.

Businesswire: RoboSense launches a complete LiDAR perception solution for Robo Taxi (RS-Fusion-P5) in markets outside China. The RS-Fusion-P5 was first launched in China last month. Equipped with an RS-Ruby and four RS-BPearl, The RS-Fusion-P5 is considered to be the alternative to Waymo's LiDAR solution, further accelerating the development of Robo Taxi.

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