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Making LiDAR Scalable for Mass Automotive Deployment

There are three different types of technologies that can be used to provide automotive vehicles (cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, etc.) with the ability to perceive what is going on around them in the outside world: camera-based, radar- (radio detecting and ranging) based, and LiDAR- (light detection and ranging) based. Such a machine perception ability is important for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in general, and it’s critical in the case of the fully autonomous (self-driving) vehicles that are to come.

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Which Wavelength is Better for Automotive LiDAR: 900, 1310 or 1550?

LiDAR, which stands for “Light Detection and Ranging,” is a method for determining the distances of objects (and, possibly, additional information associated with those objects) by targeting them with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. In the case of LiDAR sensors used for automotive applications, the majority fall into two main wavelength bands. One group is found around 900 nanometers (nm), while another group is found at 1550 nm. So, why did we at Insight LiDAR decide to create our state-of-the-art LiDAR systems using a wavelength of 1310 nm? In order to answer this question, let’s first consider what drove the creators of traditional automotive LiDAR systems to opt for 900 or 1550 nm lasers.

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