At CES 2022, the Munich-based start-up Blickfeld developing breakthrough high performance and mass-producible LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensing technology, has come together with leading creative design agency Genesis Design to create a concept for the seamless integration of LiDAR sensors in cars, supporting the ongoing revolution in automated and autonomous driving.
The concept uses the Blickfeld Vision Mini sensor to achieve seamless integration and to allow for subtle incorporation with the vehicle through multiple mounting positions like the headlamps, rear combination lights, and side mirrors, which enable a 360-degree view to ensure full visibility – a crucial building block on the way to making autonomous and driver-assisted mobility safer. Today’s automated driving test vehicles with up to 40 cameras, radars and LiDARs are not mass market-ready due to their numerous attachments on the sides and roof of the vehicles.
This conventional construction has a major impact on NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) safety scoring especially as vulnerable road users (VRUs) are not adequately protected from injury in the event of an accident, and for additional air drag-reducing range. In addition, it does not offer practical solutions for heating, cleaning, and vandalism protection for the sensors. Seamless integration as demonstrated in Blickfeld’s new concept and sensor size will be a core factor in striving towards mass-market adoption for autonomous as well as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) applications.
The ability for designs to be distinguishable between global brands and to allow for personal signatures to be incorporated, will be crucial for autonomous cars’ market success. Developing the seamless integration concept, Blickfeld and Genesis Design paid special attention to the fact that the signature is largely determined by the integration and staging of the individual elements. The sensors will be all but invisible and therefore allow for an elegant and stylish design which is subtle yet visually impactful; the sensor technology together with the lighting functions have been elegantly integrated to create a horizontal smart strip on the vehicle.
LiDAR sensors provide a number of benefits in perceiving every detail in a car’s environment, when compared with standard radars and cameras. Blickfeld sensors enable active safety and comfort systems for full-environment, 360-degree surround-view coverage around the vehicle, in both autonomous and automated vehicles. Furthermore, comfort systems such as parking assistance and automated doors are supported by Blickfeld LiDARs reliably detecting obstacles around vehicles. This is all achieved without bulky sensor setups on the rooftop or around the vehicle; Blickfeld’s sensor integration concept includes multiple, strategically-placed LiDAR sensors while keeping the design intact.
Dr. Florian Petit, co-founder of Blickfeld comments, “It is thrilling to see how our technology is brought to life in this visionary automobile through the work of Genesis Design. With more than 20 years of automotive experience, we can find no better partner for the development of this groundbreaking concept. It is an important step in the broad application of the Vision Mini sensor and one which we are excited to introduce to the world.”
Rainer Müller, Head of Innovation and CEO at Genesis Design GmbH, comments: “Blickfeld’s extraordinary and unrivaled compact sensor opens up new and innovative possibilities to combine revolutionary technologies with creative solutions. In an increasingly complex world, simple and ingenious ideas are needed. As a world first, the sensor integration concept developed together with Blickfeld demonstrates the perfect synergy in automotive engineering. This solution opens up strong new potential for autonomous driving while significantly increasing customer acceptance.”