LONG-RANGE LIDAR FILLS THE SENSOR GAP
Bosch is making long-range lidar sensors production-ready. The German manufacturer states it is the first lidar (light detection and ranging) system suitable for automotive use. This laser-based distance measurement technology is indispensable for driving functions at SAE Levels 3 to 5. The new Bosch sensor will cover both long and close ranges – on highways and in the city.
By exploiting economies of scale, Bosch wants to reduce the price for the sophisticated technology and render it suitable for the mass market. “By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place,” says Bosch management board member Harald Kroeger. Bosch says the parallel deployment of three sensor principles ensures that automated driving will offer maximum safety when it is rolled out. “For example, if a motorcycle approaches an automated vehicle at high speed at a junction, lidar is needed in addition to camera and radar to ensure the reliable sensing of the two-wheeler.”
A lidar systems works as follows. The sensor emits laser pulses and captures the laser light that is scattered back. The system then calculates distances based on the measured time it takes for the light to bounce back. It offers very high resolution with a long range and a wide field of vision. It also can reliably detect non-metallic objects at a great distance, such as rocks on the road.