A “low-cost” LIDAR for the autonomous car of tomorrow

lidar-autoThe pieces are being put in place for large-scale commercialization. In the wide range of technologies needed to launch an autonomous car on the roads, is the LIDAR. This laser detector allows the car to map its environment in 3D and in real time. If the technology is controlled for many years, it was still inconsistent with the price of a car. Germany’s Osram Opto Semiconductors has unveiled a component that’s going to blow this technological lock.

The cost of the LIDAR soon divided by… 1,800

It’s at the Electronica 2016 show that Osram Opto Semiconductors unveiled a LIDAR project at very low price. The LIDAR for “light detection and ranging” uses laser diodes in order to measure the distance between the objects surrounding the sensor. Installed on the roof of a car, it allows the map its environment. The sensor is therefore virtually indispensable to get a stand-alone vehicle, in addition to cameras and radars. The problem is that a LIDAR as can be seen on the roof of the Google Cars was charged between $ 70,000 and $80,000 a piece. Incompatible with autonomous cars series.

osram-opto-semiconductors-lidar

The LIDAR project unveiled by Osram Opto Semiconductors at the lounge Electronica 2016.

Velodyne, the LIDAR specialist, recently received an investment from Ford and Baidu to create a LIDAR that may be developed on a large scale. Already Velodyne has revised its copy and launched the HDL-64E, a LIDAR proposed $ 8,000 ‘only’, but automakers expect progress much more consequent on the part of their suppliers so that the extra cost of an autonomous car is not fatal to their prospective buyers. What Osram Opto Semiconductors up, it’s a LIDAR that which should be marketed at 40 euros only. This component is built on components of new generations, MEMS. To create its LIDAR, Osram Opto Semiconductors has joined forces with Innoluce, a startup that provides laser mirrors and that recently acquired by Infineon Technologies.
With 4 laser diodes, this new LIDAR is less powerful than the HDL-64E Velodyne which has 64, but it is much faster. Its laser, the agenda of 5ns impulses are two times shorter than those of his rival and its scope is much better. Industry is estimated to be able to deliver the first components to OEMs from summer 2017, while mass production could be launched in 2018. Therefore, more and more cars completely autonomous or semi-autonomous can be marketed.

Translation : Bing Translator

Sources :

“A milestone for laser sensors in self-driving cars”, Osram Opto Semiconductors release, November 7, 2016
“Osram Opto Semiconductors”, TechCrunch, August 16, 2016

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