Application of LiDAR in Autonomous Vehicles

Author: Neuvition, IncRelease time:2021-03-22 01:46:06

Neuvition has been developing solid-state HD video LiDAR sensors, which are mainly used in the fields of autonomous driving, ADAS, security, machine vision, 3D imaging, and drones. Neuvition’s key technologies include the world’s leading high-definition solid-state MEMS LiDAR, LiDAR data processing algorithms and software, AI and machine learning in LiDAR, and other LiDAR-based software solutions.

Automatic Driving System

The steady development of LiDAR technology will assist the automatic driving system to achieve a major leap, but the premise is that costs must be reduced.

As the name implies, LiDAR refers to “a radar system that emits laser beams to detect the location and speed of a target and other characteristic quantities”. The application of LiDAR in human history can be traced back to May 1962. At that time, two electrical engineers, Louis Smullin and Giorgio Fiocca used a 12-inch telescope to send 50 joules of laser pulses to the moon in the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and used a 48-inch telescope to receive reflections. Light, and then estimate the distance between the earth and the moon through the propagation speed of light.

40 years later, in addition to playing an important role in meteorology and the Apollo moon landing program, LiDAR is also a key sensor, becoming a key component of the robotic car prototype in the US Department of Defense DARPA Challenge. In the initial robotic car design, designers integrated up to 64 LiDARs and sensors into a huge cylinder mounted on the roof of the car. When the vehicle is moving, this cylinder system will continue to rotate, sending thousands of pulses in all directions to provide 360-degree vehicle overview information. Specifically, the targets scanned by the LiDAR will be marked as “Cloud of points”, supplementing the imaging effects of the radar and camera, and jointly guiding the driving of the driverless car.

Although there have been major changes in both software and hardware, the way that LiDAR works today has not changed much from its predecessors. Experts said that at present, the proven mechanical scanning (MEMS) LiDAR is mainly used in the automotive industry, while the new fixed (no moving components) LiDAR is more reliable and has a more compact size, which is important for integrating equipment into It is very important in the exterior of the vehicle. In contrast, the field of view of a fixed LiDAR (field of view), that is, a narrow viewing range, but with a relatively lower cost, manufacturers can also choose to install multiple fixed LiDARs at the same time to achieve expanded view. The purpose of the field.

Generally speaking, a common car or truck can replace 360 ​​degrees by installing about 8 LiDARs with a small viewing angle (select the LiDAR with a viewing angle of 120 degrees in the front and rear of the vehicle, and a LiDAR with a viewing angle of 90 degrees in the left and right). Of course, the specific number is still related to the geometric shape of the vehicle. On the other hand, the vehicle’s demand for LiDAR detection range can also be reduced. Engineers can put forward different detection distance requirements for LiDAR installed in different positions of the vehicle according to the role of LiDAR in the vehicle safety system. Usually, the LiDAR in the left and right directions requires 30 meters, the front requires 200 meters, and the rear requires 50 meters.