Continental is launching 3D Flash LIDAR which constructs a complete 3D model of the vehicle surroundings up to 200 meters away and as close as a few centimeters, in just 1.32 microseconds.
The High Resolution 3D Flash LIDAR is a core component for generating a comprehensive 3D environment model. “The technology, which is already been deployed for space operations, provides a significantly more comprehensive and detailed 3D view of the entire vehicle surroundings – both during the day and at night – and works reliably even in adverse weather conditions,” said Arnaud Lagandré, Head of Continental’s High Resolution 3D Flash LIDAR segment.
Compared to many scanner components used today, 3D Flash LIDAR comprises just two key components: A laser as a transmission source – like the flash of a camera – that illuminates the vehicle surroundings up to distances beyond 200 meters; and a highly integrated receptor chip. Similar in concept to a sensor chip in a DIGITAL CAMERA, except that it is capable of recording the laser pulse transit time and record the reflected light on each pixel, which corresponds to the range from the objects. This simple yet highly efficient method allows highly accurate and distortion-free images of the surroundings to be generated with every laser flash.
“In this way, a complete 3D model of the vehicle surroundings nearby or over 200 meters away and as close as a few centimeters, is constructed in just 1.32 microseconds, 30 times per second. In addition, the distance to individual objects is also accurately measured,” said Lagandré. “The low complexity and high industrial feasibility mean that we can efficiently install multiple sensors all around the vehicle, thereby enabling us to generate complete, real-time, 360 degrees images of the vehicle surroundings.”
Continental is developing and producing the necessary components and systems for automated driving worldwide – in the U.S. as well as in Japan, China, and Europe. The engineers involved are working on six important building blocks to make this a reality: sensor technology, cluster connectivity, human-machine dialog, system architecture, reliability, and the acceptance of automated driving.The 3D Flash LIDAR expands Continental’s portfolio of surroundings sensors for advanced driver assistance systems to support highly and fully automated driving in combination with other sensors. Series production is scheduled to start in 2020.