Lidar sensor generates foto-like environment image

Lidar sensor generates foto-like environment image

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

In the field of assistance systems many car manufacturers rely on lidar as a key technology. Ibeo has now announced the official delivery of its ibeoNEXT solid-state lidar. The new sensor from the Hamburg-based lidar developer generates a high-resolution 3D point cloud for reliable object detection.

Unique to ibeoNEXT is an additionally generated intensity image. The sensor thus also functions as a kind of monochrome camera. The manufacturer calls this the fourth dimension – or simply 4-D. This intensity image is said to be particularly advantageous for lane recognition while driving. The compact and modular design of the new ibeoNEXT sensor allows different setups for different use cases at the customer’s site.

The solid-state technology of the new lidar sensor offers a long range and a high spatial resolution when scanning the environment. This allows for exact modeling of the environment. Accordingly, changes in the course of the road are detected faster and more accurately.

Lidar systems emit laser pulses and then evaluate the light reflected from various objects. From the light travel time, i.e. the time the reflected laser pulse needs until it reaches the sensor again, software calculates the distance to the surrounding objects. In conventional lidar systems, a rotating mirror covers the field of view. With the ibeoNEXT lidar, this moving part no longer exists because semiconductor technology is used. The new sensor can process many laser pulses in parallel. The result is a 3-D model of the environment, which recognizes crash barriers and road markings as well as cars, cyclists and pedestrians and their position and movement. Where cameras only produce a two-dimensional image that has to be spatially interpreted by suitable software, lidar systems already deliver a very accurate 3-D image with more than one million distance values per second. In combination with a long range and high spatial resolution, this combination is a key advantage of Ibeo lidar technology.

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