LiDAR Sensors

Safety and Reliability of an Autonomous Future

What Is LiDAR?

LiDAR technology relies heavily on sensors that supply their own illumination source. That energy source hits objects and the reflected energy then bounces off for detection and measurement by sensors. Distance to the object is determined by recording the time between transmitted and backscattered pulses and by using the speed of light to calculate the distance traveled.

Solid State LIdar Technology
Innoviz LIdar Tech & Perception Software

Innoviz LiDAR Technology

Innoviz has developed two high-performance automotive-grade solid-state LiDAR sensors. The high-performing InnovizOne, designed specifically for automakers and robotaxis, shuttle and delivery companies, is reliable, affordable, low-power consuming, and lightweight yet rugged. With a detection range of up to 250m, maximum field of view (HxV) of 115°x25°, 0.1°x0.1° angular resolution (HxV), and configurable frame rate of 5-20 FPS, InnovizOne was designed and developed to achieve the industry’s highest standards.

The InnovizTwo, a fully-featured, high-performance automotive-grade LiDAR sensor was designed and developed for all levels of autonomous driving at a dramatically lower cost. The unit serves several industry applications (consumer vehicles, industrial drones, heavy machinery, and more) and boasts performance increases in range (up to 300m), angular resolution (0.07°x0.05°), field of view (125°x40°), configurable frame rate of 10-20 FPS, and more.

The Advantage of Solid-State LiDAR

LiDAR is advanced technology that allows autonomous and automated vehicles to maneuver safely and effectively in a range of environments. This is of the utmost importance for optimal user experience.

Innoviz is a leading provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors made of mostly semiconductor components (primarily chips), which lowers cost and increases performance and reliability. The approach at Innoviz is primed to enable the large-scale production and ownership of autonomous vehicles.

Spinning LiDAR sensors, the most widely available mechanical option, spin large parts of the sensor (lasers, detectors, optics, and support electronics) to generate its field of view (FOV). These units are common but are more prone to failure than their solid-state counterparts. Anything from temperature and humidity changes to vibrations or mechanical shock can cause a failure in the system. Misalignment leads to increased noise and reduced depth accuracy.

Solid-state beam steering, on the other hand, is significantly more reliable and cost-effective than spinning sensor alternatives. Lasers, detectors, optics, and supporting electronics are fixed and the silicon-based, frictionless MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) is used to scan the laser to an object. This provides comparatively more resilience in a variety of environments, including amid roadways, construction sites, farmland, and more.

Used with perception software that provides leading detection, classification, tracking, pixel collision classification, and continuous calibration capabilities, solid-state LiDAR sensors give autonomous vehicles the resilience and visibility needed to successfully navigate rough environments and varied weather conditions.

InnovizTwo Key Performance Metrics

0.07°x0.05°

Angular Resolution (HxV)

10-20 FPS

Configurable Frame Rate

0.1m to 300m

Detection Range

125°x40°

Field of View (HxV)

60x100x100mm

Dimensions (HxWxD)

ASIL B(D)

ISO 26262 Compliant

The Present and Future of LiDAR Sensors

LiDAR sensors have and continue to evolve with time, leading to exponential advancements in recent years. Even still, there are notable areas of achievement and opportunity in regard to LiDAR, including:

Advancements in Lidar

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Cost

In the last 15 years, automotive radars have gone from $15,000 to as low as $50. The same kind of commoditization is happening with LiDAR. The cost of LiDAR sensors has decreased dramatically in recent years. Once as much as $75,000 for the average industry-leading LiDAR, the ability to mass-produce for passenger vehicles has been made more possible with the introduction of units reaching a below $1,000 price point in some cases (and as little as $500). While there are units that still cost tens of thousands of dollars, affordability for the general public is a challenge being actively and effectively addressed.

Weather Impact

Ensuring optimal safety for drivers in autonomous vehicles in a range of weather conditions is still a top priority, despite significant improvements over the years. While suppliers have experienced challenges in the past with elements such as rain, snow, dust, and fog, Innoviz’s LiDAR products and advanced perception software are tested and validated under extreme weather conditions, as well as staged and simulated edge cases like unexpected two-wheeler (bicycle or motorcycle) maneuvers and pedestrians near highways. Innoviz’s solid-state, MEMS-based technology works in bad weather and variable terrain in all connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicle types.

Advancements in Other Industries

Beyond automotive, LiDAR has and continues to positively impact several other industries, including agriculture, meteorology, aviation, and more. In agriculture, LiDAR has enabled crop mapping, categorization, and the evolution of autonomous tractors. Remote sensing has also become a valuable tool in maintaining and monitoring crops and forests.

In the consumer space, LiDAR is becoming more commercially recognized for its use in products like the iPhone 12. In addition to better low-light focus and improved night portrait mode, the phone’s LiDAR technology equips people with the ability to measure the distance between two points, determine the size of objects, and even check leveling all from their phone.

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