MEMS and Sensors

First lidar built for Level 4 self-driving cars

19 November 2021

Baraja has introduced what it claims is the world’s first lidar system ready for Level 4 autonomy at scale.

Called Spectrum HD, the lidar delivers sensing at range with per-point Doppler capability at the hardware level. The solid-state lidar will enable the range, resolution and performance required for true self-driving capabilities while removing the blur and speckle, and it is immune to interference from other light sources including other lidars.

Baraja said Spectrum HD is designed to deliver performance in a package small enough for discrete vehicle integration but also to meet automotive standards and cost targets for high volume commercial deployment.

The company said that to mass produce lidar for automotive brands to achieve true Level 4 autonomy, the cost of lidar needs to be at a decent price point. The Spectrum HD, which will begin sampling in 2022, will be priced in the sub-$1,000-unit cost.

The lidar

Spectrum HD includes per-point Doppler capability with tunable laser and random modulation continuous wave (RMCW) ranging method for performance and accuracy at range and speed.

Traditional lidar systems use computationally intensive frame-to-frame estimations of velocity, which can result in tradeoffs to performance, accuracy and timeliness of critical measurements. Spectrum HD technology aims to overcome traditional obstacles to autonomous sensing by measuring the distance and velocity of an object in a single frame at every point in the lidar pointcloud.

This allows for quick detection of objects from pedestrians to vehicles to animals and at long range and speed for safer self-driving. This allows autonomous vehicles to better understand and react to extreme scenarios quickly, including detecting and tracking small, individual objects such as pedestrians at range and monitor for sudden changes in movement that require fast reaction times.

Recently, Baraja formed a partnership with Veoneer to commercialize Spectrum Scan, its autonomous vehicle technology, for automotive integration.

Baraja will demonstrate the lidar at the upcoming CES 2022 taking place Jan. 5-8, 2022, in Las Vegas.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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