Choosing a LiDAR Sensor for Your Automotive Application

Choosing a Lidar Sensor for Your Automotive Application

Lidar technology has become an increasingly valuable resource as automakers continually strive to improve vehicle safety. With the ability to quickly and accurately detect objects near the vehicle, lidar systems can assist in lane departure prevention, forward collision avoidance, automated parking functions, and so much more.

However, the vast array of lidar sensors on the market can feel overwhelming for automakers, making it difficult to decide which solution is best for your particular application. It’s important to understand that not all lidar systems are alike, so choosing a reliable and cost-effective sensor is crucial for ensuring maximum safety and performance in your automotive project. Fortunately, the experts at Hesai Technology make it easy to find the optimal solution for your needs. Find success in your project when you check out these tips for choosing a lidar sensor for your automotive application.

Lidar in the Automotive Industry

In the automotive industry, lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is a revolutionary way for sensors to detect surroundings. Automotive companies use lidar sensors to create safer, more efficient driving experiences.

By using lasers, lidar systems project and receive light beams that allow them to detect obstacles on the road and measure distances between the vehicle and any surrounding objects. This allows for more accurate interactions between the car and its environment. Additionally, lidar technology gives vehicles a clearer image of the world around them thanks to 3D perception capabilities projected in real time.

Lidar technology has grown in popularity over recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. It has reached an impressive level of accuracy, which makes it a viable solution within assisted driving technologies and autonomous systems. Lidar systems are paving the way toward a brighter future of safe, dependable autonomous driving.

However, the success of lidar technology relies on automakers choosing the right systems for the unique needs of their projects. Below are a few key factors to consider when choosing a lidar sensor for a specific automotive application.

Short vs. Long-Range Sensors

When selecting a lidar sensor for automotive applications, it’s important to determine which range will best suit the context of the application. Short-range lidar sensors typically measure between 0 and 25 meters, whereas long-range ones tend to provide detection beyond 150 meters.

Sometimes someone may need more precision with a short-range sensor or greater coverage with a longer-range one. For example, slow-moving vehicles will benefit more from a short-range sensor that can detect objects that are close to the car. Fast-moving vehicles, on the other hand, have slower stopping speeds and therefore require long-range sensors to operate safely.

Many lidar systems use multiple sensors with varying ranges if they need increased accuracy or resolution. Combining both short- and long-range lidar sensors creates a more comprehensive map of the surrounding area and allows a vehicle to safely and reliably navigate a wider variety of settings.

2D vs. 3D

Another important factor to consider is the difference between 2D and 3D sensors. 2D sensors can’t offer much information beyond the fact that the object is there.

3D sensors, on the other hand, add a vertical component of depth, which is crucial for accurate mapping in complex traffic environments. 3D sensing also allows for enhanced resolution and area of view, enabling greater accuracy in short-range external surveillance and depth perception. Additionally, 3D sensors have a higher scan rate, which allows for more efficient data capture from rapidly moving objects, making them ideal for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Field of View

Field of view (FOV) refers to the degree of visuals a sensor has on both horizontal and vertical axes. Fully autonomous vehicles require a lidar system that achieves a 360-degree FOV to create a comprehensive map of the vehicle’s surrounding environment. The integration of multiple sensors is essential for these advanced applications because it eliminates blind spots that individual sensors with a smaller FOV can’t detect.

Therefore, when choosing lidar tech for automotive solutions, look closely at how easily the sensors connect and how well each sensor creates comprehensive visuals. This will help you find a solution that achieves maximum performance and accuracy.

Number of Channels and Points Per Second

When selecting a lidar sensor, the number of channels and points measured per second are integral factors to consider. The number of channels determines how dense the point cloud will be, while points per second (PPS) measures how many laser readings the sensor takes each second. A greater channel number and higher PPS will create a much denser and more detailed point cloud, which allows for an increase in resolution and accuracy. However, keep in mind that the number of channels might depend on your project’s budget, processing capabilities, and other factors.

Remission and Low Reflectivity Detection

Different reflective surfaces can affect the percentage of reflected light, or remission, of a surface. This rate of reflection can impact both the range and accuracy of a lidar sensor. For example, a smooth, light-colored surface may reflect light better than a dark, irregularly textured surface.

Any changes to the environment or roads can have a direct effect on how much light reflects off a surface, subsequently impacting readings. Therefore, it’s important to understand how the lidar sensor you choose behaves at different remission levels. This will help you account for varied remission levels and ensure you receive accurate measurements in a wide range of settings.

Safety Ratings, Industry Standards, and Other Compliances

Automotive designers and engineers should always exercise caution when selecting the best lidar sensor for their application. By paying close attention to safety standards, ratings, and certification levels, you can ensure your product meets minimum safety parameters before it ever goes out onto the streets. Non-compliant sensors can threaten the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike; as such, it’s imperative to choose a lidar system that has undergone rigorous testing.

Find the Best Solution for Your Project

When you need a cutting-edge lidar solution for your automotive project, turn to the experts at Hesai Technology. Visit us today to learn more about our ADAS lidar sensors and other lidar solutions.

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