Wednesday, November 01, 2017

LiDAR News

Oprics.org: Ford autonomous driving division Argo.ai acquires LiDAR startup Princeton Lightwave developing "Geiger-mode" flash LiDAR.

Argo's CEO Bryan Salesky says: "We can’t talk about a future of self-driving cars without mentioning LiDAR technology — and we won’t be able to build that future without it. These sensors are crucial to creating a three-dimensional view of the world that helps autonomous vehicles find where they are on the road and detect other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

To accelerate our mission to realize the self-driving future, Argo has acquired Princeton Lightwave, a company with extensive experience in the development and commercialization of LiDAR sensors.
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The receive side of GeigerCruiser ADAS LiDAR is based on an array of "Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GmAPD)" working in 1.06um and 1.55um bands:

"The camera can collect sub-nanosecond resolution timestamps for arbitrarily long periods of time as well as emulate gated (framed) operation, and the sensor can generate timestamps at rates of nearly 1 Gsamples/second. The sensor engine of the camera is a focal plane array (FPA) with hexagonal geometry pixels on a 65.8 ┬Ám pixel pitch formatted in a rectangular imaging area of 2.1 mm x 1.8 mm. The FPA is assembled by flip-chip bonding an InP/InGaAsP GmAPD detector array to a custom CMOS readout integrated circuit (ROIC) and then attaching a GaP microlens array to the GmAPD array to provide a high optical fill factor. The hermetically sealed FPA housing has an integrated two-stage thermoelectric cooler to maintain appropriate operating temperature with closed-loop feedback adjustment."

The company presents a video demo of the ADAS LiDAR: "The video contains point clouds collected and processed in real-time from the GeigerCruizer Demo System as it was driven in the vicinity of our headquarters in Cranbury NJ. Objects are detected beyond 300 meters and at reflectances of 10%, with angular resolutions to 1 mrad. In addition, imaging is shown in inclement weather conditions, such as snow and fog, as well as through obscurants such as water and dirt on the GeigerCruizer’s window."



PRNewswire: In another LiDAR news, MEMS scanning LiDAR startup Innoviz expands its series B investing round by $8m with Samsung Catalist and Korean branch of SoftBank joining this round. Together this brings the B round to $73m, added to $9m raised in round A.

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