i3 - July/August 2018 - 21
wavelength of its laser light
beam (sub-1000 nanomecontends that mechaniters or 1,550 nanometers),
cal and hybrid LiDARs
and the way that light beam
are useful in near-term
is steered (mechanical or the
they've been available the
MEMS, Flash, and OPA or optilongest but are vulneracal phase array).
ble to "wear and tear."
Innoviz pursued a sub-1000 nm waveSo the future belongs
length because it doesn't require a cooling
to solid-state, which
Two ways to distinguish
mechanism to be built into the LiDAR and can
"probably will work
one LiDAR from another
be built with standard silicon chips which instills
in 10 years as it does
cost reductions, unlike 1,550 nm LiDARs,
now," he says.
are the wavelength
Keilaf says. The company went with MEMS
That's a sentiment
of its laser light beam,
because it is a mature solid-state technology and
echoed by other insidand the way that light
least expensive to produce at a mass scale.
ers. Mechanical LiDARs
beam is steered.
Velodyne LiDAR Inc., based in San Jose, has been in
offer the range, resolution
the LiDAR field for 10 years, says CTO Anand Gopalan,
and field of view needed to get
and it, too, has chosen sub-1,000 nm MEMS to meet autodriverless vehicles on the road
motive requirements at competitive price points with the
soonest and that will matter more in the
ability to scale in large volumes. But for one of its two LiDAR
mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) fleet market than high unit prices
designs - named Puck - Velodyne patented placing the solidof $4,000 and up, asserts ABI Research's Patel. He expects
state sensor on a rotating spindle to achieve a unique
Waymo to be among the earliest adopters of mechanical
360-degree field of view. For the other, named Velarray, the
LiDARs in a robotaxi service launching this year.
company devised a "frictionless beam steering technology" that
Conversely, Patel expects solid-state LiDARs priced below
produces a narrow 120-degree field of view.
$500 to roll out en masse in personally-owned semi-autonoWhile the Puck is optimal for self-driving cars, the Velarray is orimous and autonomous (SAE Levels 3-5) vehicles in the 2020ented to ADAS applications like automatic emergency braking and
2025 timeframe. He notes, however, that one LiDAR-equipped
Level-3 car is already available: the 2018 Audi A8, which incor- blind spot monitoring. Gopalan says, there are four different Velodyne
LiDAR models dubbed 16, 32, 64 and 128 (for the number of lasers
porates a mechanical unit made by Valeo. (The Valeo SCALA
they contain). The 16 and 32 can also address ADAS functions such
laser scanner was demonstrated at CES 2015.)
ABI Research calculates worldwide shipments of mechanical as automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, collision
and solid-state LiDARs will be less than one million this year avoidance - on top of self-driving at less than 35 miles per hour.
Gopalan anticipates the first Level 3 production cars with
(0.00). But it predicts the shipments of solid-state LiDARs will
shoot from 240,000 in 2020 to 35.24 million in 2025 and 158.94 Velarray LiDARS and the Puck 16 for ADAS to be available in 2020
million in 2030. By comparison, ABI Research forecasts the or 2021 as well as Puck 32-, 64- and 128-equipped Level 4 or 5 cars.
shipments of mechanical LiDARs will be 70,000 in 2020, 1.03
million in 2025 and 12.03 million in 2030.
ARE LiDARS NEEDED?
In May, LiDAR startup Innoviz announced it will furnish its pro- Jada Tapley, vice president of advanced engineering at Aptiv
prietary solid-state sensors to the BMW Group via a partnership PLC, a tier 1 supplier of automotive active safety technologies,
with Magna, one of the world's largest automotive technology sup- says there's no match for LiDARs accuracy in identifying objects
pliers. The automaker will use a Magna autonomous driving tech- like a truck's tire tread on the highway. "That's why we are a firm
nology platform that comprises LiDAR, radar and other sensors in believer in the need for LiDAR," Tapley adds.
self-driving cars it plans to sell to consumers in 2021. The
But while Aptiv makes its own cameras and radars for automakInnovizOne LiDARs are small enough to be integrated into a car's ers, it invested in three LiDAR manufacturers to source product:
front grille, and are mated to Innoviz's own computer vision soft- Innoviz and Leddartech in 2017, and Quanergy in 2016.
ware stack and algorithms for object detection and classification.
"What you're seeing is an optimization puzzle," states John
Besides cost and size, a big challenge for LiDAR makers
Buszke, director of ADAS and autonomous driving for Renesas
has been performance in bright sunlight conditions and near Electronics America, an automotive semiconductor maker
other LiDARs' light beams, says Omer David Keilaf, CEO of
based in Farmington Hills, MI. It's founded on "taking raw senInnoviz, based in Israel. He says Innoviz has overcome this
sor data and figuring out what the world around the vehicle is
through its proprietary optical design, microelectromechani- and where that data really surges in, is at that perception level,"
cal systems (MEMS), detectors and signal processing.
Buszke says. "This autonomous driving business is not short of
Two ways to distinguish one LiDAR from another are the
areas of innovation. It's all over the place."
C TA . t e c h / i 3
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