Californian startup AEye revisits LiDARs with AI: Page 3 of 3

January 02, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Forget about brute-force high resolution LiDARs that scan everything under the sun as fast as they can, churning out 1's and 0's for processors to make sense of gigabytes of indiscriminately collected data. Californian startup AEye Inc. promises to change the LiDAR landscape with what it describes as a 2D colour and 3D perception engine, dubbed iDAR (Intelligent Detection and Ranging).

"Today's systems try to scan at the highest resolution at 10Hz. But we don't want to miss anything in space and time between those frames. 10Hz is too slow. Imagine two converging cars driving at 70mph on the highway, at 10Hz, you'll sample the next car once every 20 feet (every 100ms), this is too slow for a safe margin. We can selectively revisit any object twice within 30 microseconds, that's 3000 times faster than current LiDARs.

Then we can perform velocity measurement through triangulation, by revisiting the same object three times, faster than what could be done using coherent detection to work out the Doppler shift on the returning light".

What's more, because it is so much faster than competing LiDAR solutions, the iDAR platform can be used to emulate incumbent LiDAR patterns, allowing designers to progressively improve on them through software. What's more, the iDAR’s system architecture allows for remote updates of the firmware and software, which enables rapid prototyping without requiring hardware modifications.

Dussan founded the company back in 2013, using a simulation program he had written to raise seed money. Later, the company raised 20 million US dollars in series A funding from investors such as Intel, Airbus.

AEye first demonstrated iDAR last September, operating a 360 degree vehicle-mounted solid-state LiDAR system with a range up to 300m at high resolution. The startup then launched the iDAR Development Partner Program for OEM customers, Tier 1 partners, and universities interested in integrating iDAR into their vehicles and will be announcing its automotive product suite at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
AEye -

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