Proven, practical and profoundly different: Insight’s Digital Coherent LiDAR™ is the system to overcome autonomous vehicle LiDAR issues of range, resolution, reliability, safety and affordability. Autonomous Vehicles and ADAS 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 techniques and our proprietary akinetic swept laser source to deliver best-in-class performance in a low-cost chip-scale package.
Key Advantages of Digital Coherent LiDAR
In order to detect an oncoming car or pedestrian, you need the maximum number of photons on the object and a detector sensitive enough to see the object. Because if you can’t see it, you can’t avoid it.
Many Time of Flight LiDAR solutions struggle in long range due to limitations in eyesafe power, resolution or both. Insight LiDAR’s long-range Digital Coherent LiDAR puts more photons on target, and its FMCW detection achieves a 10-100X increase in sensitivity enabling ranging out to 200 m+ even to low reflectivity objects.
How? Only by combining Digital Coherent LiDAR’s Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) wavelength and FMCW detection can you achieve best-in-class performance in a low-cost chip-scale package.
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. Coupled with Insight LiDAR’s 200m long range capability and ultra-high resolution at 40x higher than competing systems, this data enables lightning fast identification and classification of objects.
Legacy Time-of-Flight LiDAR systems determine velocity by comparing several images over time. Velocity is based on 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 technique eliminates this problem and dramatically improves system latency.
To be practical for Level 3-5 autonomy, LiDAR must 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 40X better resolution. High resolution means more pixels on target; FMCW detection means longer range; Fast, solid-state scanning means a high frame rate.
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 can even prevent hacking and spoofing that has proven to defeat other LiDARs.
Fiber amplifiers, fiber routing and delicate fiber connections are all expensive and have to be aligned to micron levels. In addition, many LiDARs have separate transmit and receive paths that need to be aligned, thus can become misaligned. 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
Unlike many conventional LiDAR sensors, 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.
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.