Thursday, July 09, 2020

LiDAR News: Waymo, Velodyne, Luminar, Aeye, Innoviz, Livox, Aurora

EETimes publishes an article about Waymo Laser Bear Honeycomb LiDAR:

"It’s been well over 16 months since Waymo announced a plan to license its lidar, called Laser Bear Honeycomb, to non-automotive companies.

Waymo is promising that its perimeter lidars, placed at four points around a vehicle, offer “an unparalleled field of view including up to 95 ° vertical field of view, and up to 360 ° horizontal field of view.”

This translates into fewer sensors for AVs to see more area. Waymo also claims that its lidars suffer little interference regardless of proximity; they are able to detect and avoid objects at very close range.

Leading AV companies — Waymo, GM Cruise and Argo AI — have either already acquired lidar technology companies or have developed lidars internally. Even Mobileye, an Intel company, is crafting its own lidar tech, Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s CEO acknowledged, in a recent interview with EE Times.

Most industry analysts agree that many of the 70-plus lidar startups that have sprung up in the past several years are unlikely to survive in the Covid-19 economy. The public health crisis exacerbates the reality that the arrival of commercial AVs is no longer as imminent as once predicted.

TheVerge: A number of US-based LiDAR companies uses federal Paycheck Protection Program:
  • Velodyne, the top LIDAR manufacturer in the US, received a loan in the range of $5M to $10M to retain 450 jobs.
  • Luminar, an Orlando-based company that is making LIDAR laser sensors for Volvo, Toyota, and other automakers working on autonomous vehicles, got a loan between $5M and $10M to retain 341 jobs.
  • Aeye got a loan in the $2M to $5M range to save 85 jobs.

Innoviz announces samples availability of its antomotive qualifies Innoviz One product:

SystemPlus Consulting publishes a reverse engineering of Hamamatsu edge-emitting laser diode and a photodiode inside Livox Horizon LiDAR:

"LiDARS are manufactured around four main components: the pulsed laser diode, avalanche photodiodes, opto-mechanical system (to scan the environment in front of the car), and the processor.

System Plus Consulting proposes an analysis of the pulsed laser and the photodiode in the Horizon LiDAR from Livox: a Chinese company that sells a LiDAR system for automotive ADAS.
The LiDAR sensing module includes a custom six-photodiode array die from Hamamatsu, specifically developed for this LiDAR application. The design is particularly optimized to increase the sensibility of the six avalanche photodiodes. The photodiode dies are assembled in a package with a 905nm narrow bandpass filter.

This LiDAR uses six edge-emitting lasers designed to have three epitaxially stacked emitters. The six laser dies are assembled horizontally with an inclined mirror to send the light perpendicular. Thermal management is performed by a sophisticated substrate.

Aurora announces its FirstLight Lidar based on Blackmore acquired technology and intended for Aurora’s next-generation test vehicles:

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