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Software Defined Lidar Sensors Change the Game

images with Software Defined Sensor Includes SteadiCam
Software Defined Sensor Includes SteadiCam

Lidar maker AEye has given its 4Sight software defined platform new capabilities, enabling its sensors to broaden or narrow their field of view depending on circumstances, company CEO Blair LaCorte told investors recently. The capability is “a game changer in autonomous decision making” for self-driving vehicles, LaCorte said.

From an article in Repairer Driven News by Dave LaChance.

Through the use of its ZoomCam feature, “4Sight can dynamically zoom in on objects on the fly, to add resolution at extremely long distances,” he said during an Aug. 15 second-quarter earnings call. “Remember, passive LIDAR systems are limited as they scan with fixed patterns at fixed distances. This new capability not only opens up new markets, but improves confidence in object tracking for existing customers,”

Unlike other lidar systems, AEye’s software-defined sensors are capable of moving seamlessly from high-speed, long-distance detection on the highway to complex, low-speed detection in environments such as traffic jams. LaCorte drew an analogy to a smartphone, which can use an operating system to add capabilities to the same hardware through apps.

The technology has promise beyond automotive uses, LaCorte added. “Rail trains equipped with 4Sight could have one mode designed for scanning a station or platform, and can use ZoomCam while in transit to detect track obstructions at extremely long ranges to allow adequate train stopping distance. In aerospace and defense, helicopters could utilize ZoomCam for longer ranges to detect wires or birds in their path, and switch to a wider field of view to locate the ground during landing maneuvers.”

Also added to 4Sight is a SteadiCam feature, which is “able to put more density where you need it,” LaCorte said. “This patented horizon tracking capability, we believe, is a key to adoption of highway autopilot, a popular feature consumers have been requesting from automotive OEMs.

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