High-definition 200 scan line LiDAR images of Munich’s Siegestor

LiDARs send out rapid pulses of laser light. The pulses hit a surface, are reflected and return to the LiDAR. A detector then measures each pulse’s time of flight. Thereby, the LiDAR can calculate the distance between itself and the target with high accuracy. By repeating this in quick succession the LiDAR builds up a high-definition ‘point cloud’ of the scene it is measuring.

Blickfeld LiDARs are equipped with a proprietary silicon MEMS mirror, which is specifically designed for LiDAR applications. Besides features like long range and wide field of view, it allows you to adjust scanning parameters. So you can flexibly adjust the number of scan lines per frame, making it possible to create high definition images with up to 200 scan lines.

LiDAR – Technological key for environment perception?

“Yes, it definitely is” says Florian Petit, tech-savvy founder of Blickfeld. “Light detection and ranging” a.k.a. LiDAR presents the latest possibility and most promising technology set to revolutionize many perception needs of the next generation of intelligent machines – with focus on the automotive industry as well as many other sub-segments around the Internet of Things (IoT)

When it comes to environment perception, nowadays it is all about LiDAR. The LiDAR technology allows a direct geometric measurement of distances regarding objects and provides a distance image, not a color image. The advantage is that data can be very effectively evaluated by computer algorithms, distances to other cars can be measured directly, for example. LiDAR technology produces a point cloud image, which is a digital twin of the real world. Dimensions of scenes, people or cars can be portrayed incredibly accrately. In combination with software, LiDAR systems work threefold starting with capturing scenes, followed by real-time perception and finally connecting multiple data sources for analysis.

Today, LiDAR systems prove to be an attractive alternative to cameras and radars with LiDAR bearing significant advantages – from high range and resolution up to a wide field of view. The question is not “if” but “when” LiDAR systems will rule different markets. LiDAR faces many challenges. Most important, as of now; products are still very expensive, hardly available, and not fully reliable.

“This is where we come in” says Florian. Blickfeld developed a totally new microfabricated MEMS silicon scanner. “We strive to provide a solution that is highly performant and mechanically robust with a high production scalability.” Next to performance and reliability being key for diverse applications (e.g. autonomous driving or high-safety solutions), a high production scalability means access for the mass market – a key ambition Blickfeld fully strives for.

Finally, it can be said that every testing car today as well as every consumer car tomorrow most likely will be equipped with LiDAR – an incredible potential for now and the future.