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Solid State LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles: The Future of 3D Sensing and Perception

Tuesday, July 11 1:30pm

For self-driving cars to safely navigate their environments, they must be capable of ‘seeing’ at least as well as, if not better than humans. They must be able to detect and recognize people, other vehicles, roadways, road markings, traffic signs, bridges, and other objects, and place them accurately to synthesize a 3D view.  Achieving these goals, along with automotive reliability and cost targets, requires significant advancements.  Solid state LiDAR sensors with 3D perception software have the capability to meet these challenges and are the key enabling technology for self-driving vehicles. The evolution of LiDAR smart sensing technology into solid state solutions is embodied by sensors that contain no moving parts, on both the macro and micro scales. This assures the highest level of performance, reliability, dependability, longevity, and cost efficiency while enabling increasingly smaller footprints that require lower power consumption. Integrated solid state LiDAR sensors can be small enough to fit in the palm of a hand and mounted behind a grill, inside a bumper, inside a side-view mirror or behind a rear-view mirror. This compact package can be seamlessly integrated into any platform that requires smart, capable, always-aware perceptive vision. Through the interaction of three main components based on silicon CMOS – emitter, receiver and signal processor – a solid state LiDAR sensor generates half a million point-cloud data points per second to accurately create a real-time long-range 3D view of the environment and provide the ability to recognize and classify objects. This presentation will discuss integrated solid state LiDAR sensor solutions, and will cover commercial advancements that made sophisticated 3D mapping and object detection, classification, and tracking possible with small sensors that will become ubiquitous, particularly as they enable autonomous vehicles.

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