Exciting Developments in LiDAR at CES 2021

January 19, 2021

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Although this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was an all-digital affair, that did not stop the world’s tech companies from coming together to show off the latest and greatest developments while providing a glimpse into the future. Amidst all of the new TVs, mobile phones and smart home gadgetry, LiDAR sensor and autonomous vehicle firms made several major announcements.

The announcements in this space – a projected $3 billion market by 2025 – made it clear that connected autonomous vehicles that allow people to get to their destination safely and quickly were going to be a major focus moving forward. 2021 marks a turning point where that vision is well on the path to becoming a reality, and now it is only a matter of time to get the technology right.

Here are several developments coming out of CES this year that we’re excited about:

GM CES keynote – GM CEO Mary Barra gave their CES keynote presentation starting with the theme “Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion,” highlighting several developments in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicles (EV). GM has bet big in recent years on both EV and autonomous driving, and it is always great to be reminded why this is such a major technology trend.

Robosense announces production milestone in solid-state LiDAR – Chinese LiDAR sensor maker Robosense announced several big milestones for their M1 solid-state LiDAR sensor: notably, that they are production-ready and started shipping to OEM partners in December. There are several prominent LiDAR companies in China making waves with automotive-grade sensors.

Blickfield announces 3 new sensors – German firm Blickfield announced three automotive-grade LiDAR sensor products. Called the “Vision” series, they are designed to achieve the range and field of view requirements for automotive applications. Blickfield also introduced a MEMS-based scanning module that can be integrated with any number of time-of-flight or Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW)-based lasers and detectors.

SOSLAB wins CES 2021 Innovation Award – The new ML series is a solid-state LiDAR that garnered SOSLAB an Innovation Award at CES this year. This sensor is able to detect with a very wide field of view with no moving parts. An exciting development for solid-state LiDAR!

Mobileye and Intel announce “LiDAR on a Chip” – Mobileye is leveraging parent company Intel’s Silicon Photonics’ technology to create a compact, high-performance FMCW LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles. Seeing an ADAS market leader like Mobileye and a tech giant like Intel make a big bet on FMCW is an exciting step forward for this next-generation LiDAR technology.

Sense Photonics announces Automotive-grade Flash LiDAR – Fellow Durham-ites Sense Photonics announced a Flash LiDAR that can sense objects 200 meters away – something that has not been previously demonstrated by any other flash LiDAR sensor.

Whatever the technology approach, high-performance LiDAR requires cooling and temperature control of the laser source and detector to achieve the range, sensitivity, resolution, and eye safety required for long-range autonomous vehicle applications. Phononic TECs are the ideal cooling solution for automotive LiDAR components, combining low power consumption with automotive-grade reliability and operating temperatures. Judging by the excitement for the space at the biggest innovation showcase on earth, we’d venture the future looks bright for LiDAR.

– Alex Guichard, Director of Product Marketing

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