According to foreign media reports, Continental has developed a new automotive-grade solid-state 3D flash lidar (Flash LIDAR) HFL110 and is bringing its samples to the commercial vehicle market. This lidar enhances Continental’s existing ADAS sensor suite and 2D color sensor for autonomous driving.
In 3D flash lidar, a smart pixel focal plane array captures a laser pulse for each frame of data, which then transmits distance data and black-and-white video back to the lidar sensor. Synchronized 2D sensors can identify whether a traffic light is green or red, and 3D flash lidar can provide an accurate 3D image of the traffic light and show the distance to the traffic light. These two technologies combine to make the system more robust and reliable.
Compared to other radar systems, 3D flash lidar can provide finer optical angular resolution and higher accuracy, especially in dense urban environments that include stationary/moving vehicles, buildings, pedestrians, and other objects of varying sizes. The laser pulses emitted by the 3D flash lidar are outside the wavelengths of visible light and meet Class 1 eye safety standards.
The company says the HFL110 sensor has a rate of up to 330 nanoseconds per frame, delivering detailed and accurate 3D images at any time and in weather conditions. The new 3D flash lidar HFL110 sensor is designed for close range detection (about 164 feet or less). Unaffected by vibration or velocity distortion, the sensor generates a high-resolution 3D point cloud 25 times per second over a 120-degree field of view. The HFL110 features multiple precise distance measurements that capture 4096 pixels of continuous depth data in real time across the entire field of view.
Consecutive pixels captured by the HFL110 tolerate nearby highly reflective or low reflective surfaces, generate point clouds and/or object lists, and define and track the vehicle’s environment and moving objects. In addition, the lidar integrates a heater and an optional automatic cleaning system, and can be combined with Continental’s radar and 2D cameras. This innovative high-resolution 3D flash lidar can complement current environmental sensors to enable highly and fully autonomous driving.
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