Interview with Neuvition: LiDAR Innovative Application And Technical Service Solutions
Author： Neuvition, IncRelease time：2022-06-27 02:00:43
The fifty-sixth issue of “See New Power” interviewed Lin Jian, winner of the 2021 Create@ Alibaba Cloud “5G+IoT Track” Global Grand Final, also the co-founder of Suzhou Neuvition Co., Ltd. From the interview, we will have a better understanding of the innovation and thinking of Neuvition in the field of solid-state LiDAR. The column “See New Power” is newly produced by Alibaba Cloud Innovation Center. It explores the stories behind entrepreneurs and corporate innovations and conducts value reports from multiple perspectives and dimensions in the form of interviews and live broadcasts so that you can hear the real voices of entrepreneurs and see the power of technological innovations.
LiDAR is an active remote sensing device that uses lasers as the emission light source and photoelectric detection technology and can perform three-dimensional imaging perception of the surrounding environment. Compared with ordinary millimeter-wave radar, LiDAR has the advantages of high resolution and strong anti-interference ability. With the continuous development of science and technology, the commercial application of LiDAR is becoming more and more extensive, and it is widely used in the fields of autonomous driving, rail traffic, V2X, 3D mapping&measurement, etc.
Aiming to optimize vision and build a smarter future
“LiDAR is a very important core sensor for enabling embedded artificial intelligence devices. 3D point cloud data helps them perceive the world more stereoscopically and accurately.” Dr. Lin Jian explained that this is the vision why they created Neuvition. “Our company name Neuvition is the homonym of “New Vision”, which also aptly explains our original intention. “
Lin Jian, chairman and CTO of Neuvition, was the chief architect of Cisco, responsible for video communication and image processing algorithms and software architecture technology. He has more than 20 years of senior R&D and team management experience.
Co-founder Li Hong, who has undertaken major national scientific and technological projects in the field of LiDAR, has been rooted in the field of lasers for decades.
During the conversation, Lin Jian emphasized that LiDAR technology has achieved initial success in many application fields. As the core sensor, LiDAR is an important way of perceiving the world. High resolution is our key indicator. Only “Excellent Vision” allows machines to see farther and clearer, coupled with calculator algorithms, can LiDAR technology truly achieve a “smart future”.
Neuvition MEMS +1550nm technology
Neuvition is one of the first pioneering teams focusing on MEMS+1550nm LiDAR technology in the world. In the period when mechanical LiDAR is dominated and there are many technical disputes for solid-state LiDAR, the Neuvition team fully compared the advantages and disadvantages of OPA, MEMS, and 3D-Flash. In our opinion, OPA is relatively immature, and involves the production of chips, which has a long cycle and great uncertainty; 3D-Flash has shortcomings in detection distance. After continuous technical verification, we finally chose the MEMS+1550nm technology route. MEMS has been used in the industrial field for many years and can keep a long-term stable state, and in terms of resolution requirements, MEMS technology can achieve a resolution close to that of a visual camera.
The MEMS galvanometer is an optical MEMS actuator chip, which can control the deflection of the laser beam under the driving action. At present, it is widely used in projection, display, optical communication, and other scenarios. MEMS LiDAR uses a MEMS galvanometer as a laser beam scanning device. It has the advantages: small size, simple structure, high reliability, and low power consumption. MEMS LiDAR is one of the most suitable technical paths to accelerate the implementation of LiDAR-based projects.
Lin Jian shared a story during their research and development process. At that time, the 1550nm laser was very expensive, and the technical difficulty was much higher than that of the 905nm laser. In the winter of 2016, their team tested the LiDAR on the road and saw the point cloud of the font on the building wall 100 meters away for the first time, and then they never saw it again. A few months later they saw the point cloud again, it was 300 meters away! What an exciting moment!
Innovative applications and solutions
According to Lin Jian, after years of hard work on LiDAR technology research and development, Neuvition has various LiDAR models and also provides LiDAR software services and complete solutions. Neuvition LiDAR has performance and parameters superior to competitors in high resolution up to 700 lines; detection range up to 600 meters; advanced camera and LiDAR video fusion.
Among the key indicators of Neuvition LiDAR, high resolution ranks first. The 700-line high resolution is derived from the micro-sized MEMS with 50,000 high-speed scans per second, reaching the world’s leading level. The super-strong detection ability is also one of the key indicators of Neuvition LiDAR. The farthest effective detection range is 600 meters, and the 1550nm laser has strong penetrating ability, which allows Neuvition LiDAR to work under severe weather. The chip-scale MEMS with tiny size is resistant to shock and vibration and has a service life of more than 50,000 hours.
In the early stage, Neuvition only focused on hardware sensors. After putting it on the market, we noticed that some customers found it very difficult to directly use LiDAR sensors. Because LiDAR is not like a hair dryer, you can use it after plugging it in at home. But for LiDAR applications, it is necessary to make some adjustments and development according to the actual usage scenarios of customers, and to transmit sensor data to the perception layer and application layer, to finally use the data obtained from LiDAR hardware.
So far, Neuvition has prepared some complete LiDAR solutions in application scenarios such as V2X /smart road, rail traffic intrusion detection, and 3D mapping-stockpile volume measurement, which are convenient for helping customers to solve their actual problems. The market scale of these vertical application fields is very large and the technical requirements are also very high, which requires the innovation drive of the team to carry out technical integration at multiple levels such as hardware sensors, system software, and computing algorithms.
Neuvition has some success cases in rail transportation in China. The effective detection distance of 600 meters solves the needs of users. In the past two years, the focus on solving the pain points of rail traffic customers has driven Neuvition to actively innovate and create more valuable LiDAR products.
For autonomous driving, Neuvition has also been actively deploying automotive LiDAR. Titan M1-Pro has the technical advantages of 120° field of view, 200-meter detection range, and 480-wire beam. At present, we are already in the process of docking with some car companies, and it is hoped to carry out more in-depth cooperation with certain manufacturers next year.
Lin Jian was happy to be the winner of the 2021 Create@ Alibaba Cloud “5G+IoT Track” Global Grand Final, which is a recognition of the Neuvition team’s efforts. And he hopes to have more cooperation with Alibaba Cloud in the future. Create@ Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest is a global technology entrepreneurship competition initiated by Alibaba Cloud, also it is one of the largest entrepreneurial competitions in the world.
Future vision of the LiDAR market
Regarding the LiDAR market, Lin Jian believes that LiDAR is in the exploration and development period globally, but the forward-looking technology layout is very clear. As an important sensor, LiDAR technology has gradually become an important part of the Internet of Things and mass applications. Neuvition will stand from the present, take every step down, and solve the pain points of customers.