Proven, practical and profoundly different: Insight’s Digital Coherent LiDAR™ overcomes autonomous vehicle LiDAR challenges of range, resolution, reliability, safety and affordability. Autonomous Vehicles require the ability to quickly perceive and classify objects in dynamic, fast-changing conditions.
Fast, accurate perception requires LiDAR sensors that optimize not one, but ALL SIX of the critical factors needed for safe, reliable and scalable LiDAR systems.
Insight LiDAR’s Digital Coherent LiDAR utilizes industry-leading FMCW detection and our proprietary akinetic swept-laser source to deliver best-in-class performance in a low-cost chip-scale package.
Key Advantages of high-resolution Insight LiDAR
In order to detect objects, such as pedestrians or oncoming vehicles, the LiDAR system needs to put as many pixels as possible on the target. It also needs a detection system sensitive enough to pick up the return. Because if you can’t see it, you can’t avoid it.
Many Time-of-Flight LiDAR solutions struggle to see targets at long ranges due to limitations in eye-safe power, limited resolution or both. Insight LiDAR’s ultra-high-resolution, long-range Digital Coherent LiDAR puts 32 times more pixels on target, and its FMCW detection achieves a 10-100x better sensitivity enabling accurate and repeatable ranging out to more than 200 meters, even to small, low-reflectivity objects.
Insight LiDAR’s Digital Coherent LiDAR gives a direct Doppler velocity reading with every pixel, accelerating object recognition and classification. Objects can be identified and classified up to 5x faster using this data method, because no frame-to-frame analysis or calculations are required. Direct Doppler velocity data, coupled with Insight LiDAR’s ultra-high resolution and 200m+ range capability, enables lightning-fast object identification and classification. This unique combination of capabilities allows AV manufacturers to tackle their most difficult edge cases.
Legacy Time-of-Flight LiDAR systems determine velocity by comparing several images over time. Velocity is based on range differences in the images. This method is prone to errors due to LiDAR signal, vehicle motion and interference. Direct Doppler measurement, enabled by Insight LiDAR’s FMCW detection technique, eliminates this problem and dramatically improves system latency.
To be practical for AVs, LiDAR systems must cover a large field of view and be able to recognize low-reflectivity targets at distance and at a frame rate that gives the system time to react. Effective vision requires all three components of the formula:
Recognition = Resolution at Range at Rate.
Two out of three won’t do.
Legacy LiDAR systems trade off these parameters leaving pedestrians and small or low reflectivity objects unidentifiable even at mid-range.
Only Insight LiDAR’s Digital Coherent LiDAR, with its proprietary true solid-state, fast-axis scan technology, addresses this, resulting in 64x better resolution while not sacrificing Field of View.
Millions of people drive into the sun twice a day, yet this simple scenario is a roadblock for most traditional LiDAR systems, which can be blinded by harsh sunlight or even other LiDAR signals. By contrast, Digital Coherent LiDAR is naturally immune to this same interference, rejecting all light that is not an exact copy of the transmitted wavelength sweep.
Digital Coherent LiDAR’s FMCW-based platform is 10,000 times better at rejecting unwanted light with none of the burdensome extra processing or computational overhead that slow other systems.Digital Coherent LiDAR even prevents hacking and spoofing that has proven to defeat other LiDARs.
Unlike other long-range lidars, Digital Coherent LiDAR contains absolutely no fiber. Fiber amplifiers, fiber routing and delicate fiber connections are all expensive and have to be aligned and maintained to micron levels. That’s why Digital Coherent LiDAR was designed, from the ground up, with zero fiber. Insight’s Digital Coherent LiDAR sensor provides a chip-scale architecture that minimizes part count and enables high reliability.
Digital Coherent LiDAR is monostatic, meaning that the transmit and receive paths are the same, thus, always aligned.
Insight LiDAR puts all laser transmission, control and detection on optical semiconductors or Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). This powerful design, while minimizing cost, also means the sensor is not as susceptible to the vibration or temperature changes that cause optical misalignments in traditional LiDARs.
In addition, Insight’s software-controlled, true solid-state fast-axis scan performs this critical function at high speed with zero moving parts.
Insight LiDAR’s chip-scale architecture puts all the electronic controls on ASIC and all the optical transmission and detection control on Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). This approach provides high-volume affordability, reliability and miniaturization—the clear path to affordability required for successful commercialization.
Insight LiDAR’s Digital Coherent LiDAR features a compact architecture that drives down the semiconductor cost curve. No external amplifiers, modulators, delicate fiber connections or other active optical conditioning creates a system that is easier to build, has fewer parts and costs less.