LiDAR Range

Determining LiDAR Range

LiDAR is a powerful technology that relies on light pulses to detect, measure, and map surroundings in real-time. Distance is calculated when these light pulses are emitted by the LiDAR sensor, bounce off, and return to the sensor. This technology enables several industries to create accurate 3D maps for a variety of applications, including consumer vehicles, trucking, industrial drones, and more.

Why Range Matters

When it comes to range detection, both short- and long-range matter. In a vehicle, for example, to navigate from one point (point A) to another (point B) safely and accurately, it is crucial that distances, environmental elements, and other factors can be detected and measured between those two points. Innoviz has designed and developed LiDAR sensors, such as the InnovizOne (range of up to 250m) and the InnovizTwo (range of up to 300m).

Lidar Sensors in an Urban Scene

The Importance of Short-Range LiDAR

While long-range detection is clearly crucial, what is more often overlooked is the importance of short-range detection and measurement. Between points A and B, a vehicle can and will encounter several obstacles, elements, and environmental factors along the way, some more unexpected than others. While some obstacles and elements will be stationary, such as street signs, waiting pedestrians, and other vehicles, others will not. Short-range detection allows LiDAR sensors to detect, measure, and quickly react to the unexpected with short notice.

Examples of this include other vehicles pulling out of a parallel parking spot, the sudden stop of a vehicle ahead, or a child running into the street to catch a runaway ball. Skilled drivers know that anticipating things far away while staying aware of their immediate surroundings is all part of being a responsible driver. Advancements in LiDAR sensor range, both near and far, is allowing automated and autonomous vehicles to do the same.

Play Video

Kids Playing with Ball

Range, Resolution, and Other Factors

Another important aspect of LiDAR range is deciding on a wavelength, because range alone isn’t a good indicator of LiDAR performance. Many makers choose either 905 nm or 1550 nm. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. While it is more difficult to achieve long range with 905 nm technology, 1550 nm is more expensive. Innoviz opts for 905 nm for several reasons, but mainly because the automotive industry needs LiDAR to cost hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. Innoviz has solved the 905 nm performance limitation and developed a chipset with the perfect combination of performance at lower cost.

The Impact of Rain on Lidar and Autonomous Vehicles

Range Innovation

Innoviz is continuously working to design and develop leading LiDAR sensor technology to support a range of applications across industries. As sensor range and other important factors continue to evolve, automated, and ultimately autonomous, vehicles will continue to become an integral part of life and work.