An automotive LIDAR sensor by Innoviz Technologies intends to elevate autonomous driving systems.

Innoviz Technology was founded in 2016 and it’s already one of the first LIDAR providers to bring a complete product to market. Automotive LIDAR sensors are increasing in popularity as many car manufacturers are developing autonomous driving systems.

In early January, they announced the release of InnovizPro—a micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS)-based scanning LIDAR solution that will enable their LIDAR sensors to yield a performance more accurate and reliable than any other on the market today.

What is LIDAR?

Developed in the early 1960s, LIDAR—or light detection and ranging—is a remote sensing method that is used to examine the surface of the earth via light in the form of a pulsed laser. In combination with other data collected, these light pulses generate precise three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

A LIDAR instrument consists of four main components: a laser, a scanner, a photodetector, and a specialized GPS receiver. These components enable researchers to observe the atmosphere at ambient conditions with accuracy and precision. The LIDAR sensor records the time it takes lasers to return from hitting a target and produces a digital map of the surveyed area.

Other Uses

In oceanography, the system is used to calculate phytoplankton fluorescence and biomass in the ocean surface, as well as to measure the depth of the ocean. In meteorology, LIDAR is used to study clouds and their behavior. In atmospheric physics, the system is used to measure cloud density and the concentration of oxygen, Co2, nitrogen, sulfur, and other gas particles in the middle and upper atmosphere. The military uses the LIDAR system to create high-resolution maps.

However, the InnovizPro was designed as an automotive LIDAR sensor and is said to offer unprecedented accuracy in the automotive industry. “InnovizPro provides immediate accessibility to our advanced LIDAR technology and marks a giant leap forward for the entire autonomous vehicle market,” said Omer Keilaf, CEO and Co-Founder of Innoviz Technologies.

Automotive LIDAR Sensor

Through its release, the stand-alone, solid-state, MEMS-based scanning automotive LIDAR sensor, is forging a path for the industry to better test and develop the next generation of autonomous driving programs.

“InnovizPro delivers high angular resolution at a high frame rate for unrivalled scanning performance. Highly resilient to sunlight and all weather conditions, InnovizPro’s advanced solid-state ensures high durability and a long life expectancy,” states the company website.

Additionally, the automotive LIDAR sensor by Innoviz comes at a significantly lower cost and smaller size than those already in existence. In addition, it’s the only automotive LIDAR sensor available that meets all automotive industry’s needs in terms of performance, reliability, cost, compact size, and product maturity.

The automotive LIDAR sensor specs include; a long detection of up to 150 meters that allow precise clarity at distance; a dense 3D point cloud with high accuracy; and superior accuracy even in the darkest nights, cases of bright sunlight, fast changing weather, or at high speed travel.

LIDAR Sensor Market Growth

With such a valuable application to the vehicle industry, it’s clear to see why the automotive LIDAR sensor market was projected to grow with a compound annual growth rate of 35.3 percent between 2017 and 2023.

Just Getting Started

The work is far from over for Innoviz Technology as they continue working to improve their industry-leading scanning performance. Nonetheless, as of now they are proud to bring their innovative automotive LIDAR sensor to market.

“While we continue to work towards automotive-grade LIDAR with InnovizOne, our partners can order InnovizPro now in order to gain access to the most advanced LIDAR currently available,” added Keilaf.