Frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar will facilitate breakthroughs in autonomous driving technology

Lidar technology is considered a key technology for autonomous vehicles, and frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar will facilitate breakthroughs in autonomous driving technology. Some experts say that FMCW lidar will eventually replace the current time-of-flight (ToF) lidar system. According to foreign media reports, German lidar company Scantinel Photonics has received investment from ZEISS Ventures (Zeiss Ventures) and is said to be the only European company in the field of FMCW lidar.

Lidar technology is considered a key technology for autonomous vehicles, and frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar will facilitate breakthroughs in autonomous driving technology. Some experts say that FMCW lidar will eventually replace the current time-of-flight (ToF) lidar system. According to foreign media reports, German lidar company Scantinel Photonics has received investment from ZEISS Ventures (Zeiss Ventures) and is said to be the only European company in the field of FMCW lidar.

Both lidar and radar are used to detect and measure distances by analyzing reflected wave patterns. However, compared to radar, FMCW lidar does not use radio waves, but light in the form of laser light, and therefore can provide higher image resolution and better object detection performance. This FMCW lidar technology has significant advantages over traditional methods.

Frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar will facilitate breakthroughs in autonomous driving technology

The range is more than 250 meters, suitable for bad weather conditions, such as fog, snow or direct sunlight;

Free from interference from other sensors and from itself, the pulses previously sent by the device cannot confuse or interfere with the light pulses of other sensors;

Simultaneously measure the distance and velocity of each data point, thereby reducing computation and system cost;

Adopt highly integrated PiCs (photonic integrated circuits), reduce cost, and have scalability.

One of the reasons FMCW lidar technology is so powerful is that its sensors can detect photons. The working wavelength of ScanTInel’s FMCW lidar is 1550nm, which meets the high standards of human eye safety. Additionally, accurate measurements are provided even in conditions of limited visibility, such as fog, rain, and snow. ScanTInel also uses a newly developed, unique beam deflection system that does not require any mechanical components such as MEMS.

Common ToF lidar systems operate at 850nm and 905nm, which are very close to the visible light spectrum. Therefore, the maximum laser energy is limited, and the range is usually less than 100 meters. However, in autonomous driving, the target must be detected at a distance of 250 meters or more in order to brake in time or initiate collision avoidance. The longer the range of the lidar system, the more time is left for the vehicle or driver to react to unexpected obstacles. Even less than a second can make a big difference in terms of safety and comfort.

ScanTInel FMCW sensors use patented linear chip technology to instantly measure distance and speed at any point. Furthermore, due to the consistent measurement process, the ScanTInel system only responds to its own light pulses. If the returned light does not match the light originally emitted, the FMCW sensor filters out that data point. And since there is no need to estimate the speed at which an object’s position changes, the input data is also processed faster, reducing computation and cost.

The Links:   HSD150SX82-A LB104S01-TL02

Author: Yoyokuo