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March 17, 2022
Why accurate object detection at long range matters when it comes to LiDAR
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Fully autonomous systems need to be able to operate in even the most challenging driving scenarios. High-performance LiDAR systems are set to bridge the gap between low resolution, long-range radar and high-resolution, 2D cameras. Filling this gap with a LiDAR sensor truly capable of object detection at long range can make even the most challenging conditions achievable for the perception stack, which paves the way for a fully autonomous future.

The problem is that most LiDAR sensors on the market aren’t capable of achieving this level of accuracy for long-range object detection.

The importance of range

Looking at range specifications alone can be misleading. True effective range requires a combination of sensitivity, resolution, beam divergence, and accuracy and precision. If just one property is lacking, so is the quality of your pointcloud. Low pointcloud quality decreases the probability of detecting an object, which forces the vehicle to travel at slower speeds to maintain safety.

To drive at the speeds we are accustomed to today while maintaining a safe stopping distance, the vehicle’s LiDAR sensor needs to be able to accurately detect objects more than 200m away. Whether it is a stop sign, debris, or a pedestrian crossing the road, you need to be able to trust that everything is detected and recorded properly in your pointcloud without wasting precious seconds on multiple frames of data or risking missed information.

When it comes to trucking fleets, range is even more important. A fully loaded commercial truck moving at about 105km/h on the highway requires approximately 180m to come to a complete stop. If your LiDAR is unable to accurately detect an object on the road at least 200m ahead, the truck will not be able to stop or take evasive action to avoid hitting the object.

Challenges to effective range

Legacy LiDAR sensors are unable to achieve the combination of range, resolution and accuracy that is needed to make highway automation a reality. Achieving the performance required is made even more challenging when the system also needs to be small enough and draw little power to seamlessly integrate into the vehicle.

Typically, LiDAR sensors that rely on MEMS, flash, or VCSELs will struggle to meet the range and beam divergence requirements, and those that require mechanical scanning, such as polygon scanners and galvos, necessitate bulky designs and power consumption while still struggling to meet the accuracy and precision requirements for autonomous driving.

Baraja has solved these fundamental issues by developing an architecture that resolves these issues from the ground up.

Taking a fresh perspective on range

While others are still struggling to adapt their designs to the unique needs of automotive, we’ve built a revolutionary LiDAR sensor capable of providing accurate high-resolution data that enables object detection as far as 200m and beyond.

Detecting objects at this range and accuracy is critical for traveling at high speeds, anticipating and preparing for oncoming hazards, and whenever longer stopping distances are required, such as driving in inclement weather or operating heavier vehicles.

Our patented architecture has four unique advantages—2000 channel vertical axis, foveation, per-point Doppler velocity and better effective range—over traditional LiDAR.

Combined, these advantages ensure you have the precise data you need to accurately classify objects more than 200m ahead—and all with foveation capabilities, Doppler measurement and a vertical resolution that is 10x clearer than industry standards. This leaves you with an accurate and more detailed pointcloud, enabling your system to make important driving decisions throughout its route.

If your autonomous vehicle is driving through a residential neighborhood and a child runs into the road chasing after their ball, the Baraja Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR sensor enables your perception stack to redistribute its resolution, providing additional data points on the child while also measuring the velocity of the child and the ball to understand what direction they’re heading and at what speed.

Accurate object detection at long-range

Invest in a LiDAR system that works

Our core technology has filled the gaps inherent in legacy LiDAR solutions, starting with the key characteristics necessary to enable accurate long-range object detection.

Interested in what our Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR can do? Contact our team to learn more about our proprietary LiDAR design and how it can work for you.

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