The automotive industry is under a siege of changes, which brings a unique opportunity for newcomers to enter the market and savvy investors to hit big on winning choices. But when it comes to navigating a new, complex pool of potential partners and investments, how do you know if they will measure up? LiDAR is one of the key sensors needed to safely bring autonomous technology to the mass deployment. If you are interested in expanding your portfolio with a LiDAR company, here are four key product criteria to look for in an automotive LiDAR solution.
LiDAR has been around for decades, with use cases in agriculture, archeology, geology, air travel, and, more recently, automotive. However, while each use case uses the same fundamental principles of LiDAR, the reliability and durability requirements are completely different. For automotive, it’s important to have a LiDAR that is both reliable and durable but is also affordable, scalable, and small enough to be invisibly integrated into the vehicle design.
Many LiDAR companies have missed the mark by trying to adapt old LiDAR designs to fit the needs of automotive. This has led to an endless cycle of dead ends. At Baraja, we started from the ground up, with automotive in mind from the very beginning. Our revolutionary approach to LiDAR solves the issues of automotive sensor needs and is on a clear path to enabling fully autonomous driving.
When it comes to LiDAR, the proof is in the pointcloud. The pointcloud, or 3D mapping, is representative of the presence and position of the objects the LiDAR detects outside the vehicle, which means there is no room for mistakes. The slightest error in detection could lead to blind spots, providing inaccurate information to the perception algorithm. It’s therefore important to have a LiDAR system that produces high resolution pointcloud quality. We’re proud of our pointcloud at Baraja and offer test drives to interested investors and automotive partners.
There are many factors that go into considering the viability of an automotive LiDAR, so the best way to measure suitability for automotive integration is to look at its real-world use cases. How has the LiDAR system been used in real-world driving scenarios? And has it been proven through frequent, widespread, or long-term use?
As an Australian-based LiDAR company, we decided to test our automotive LiDAR in one of the most challenging places on earth, the Australian Outback. Through our partnerships with Hitachi Construction Machinery and Australian mining companies, we have been able to successfully test the viability of our Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR sensor, proving it can withstand extreme heat, dust, 24/7 use, and excessive vibrations, all while providing a flawless pointcloud that enables the heavy mining equipment to safely perform its duties without pause.
Vehicle design is important and developing LiDAR sensors with a small form factor, low power consumption and low audible noise will enable automakers to package the “eyes of the vehicles” into inconspicuous places, such as headlights, taillights, or behind the windshield. Baraja’s patented Spectrum-Scan™ technology uses wavelength-tunable lasers to scan the environment, which has allowed us to eliminate the most expensive, bulky, and failure-prone components of a LiDAR system - mechanical scanning in the fast axis.
A partnership with a Tier 1 supplier is crucial for LiDAR companies to have commercial success and for establishing partnerships with automotive OEMs. Working with a leading Tier-1 automotive supplier like Veoneer helps with accelerating the scale required for automotive integration.