AEye, a global leader in adaptive, high-performance LiDAR solutions in California, announced its LiDAR sensor — known for its long-range capabilities — has reached the milestone of 1,000 meter range in rain from behind windshield glass at a test on the American Center for Mobility test track in Ypsilanti Township.
The results were verified by safety and automated vehicle technologies researcher VSI Labs in Minnesota.
The test was conducted using VSI’s research vehicle, which integrated AEye’s sensor into its AV stack to study the impact of adaptive LiDAR on the performance and safety of automated functionality. The team used a rain machine to simulate wet weather and mounted the sensor behind a piece of windshield glass to gauge long-range sensor performance in heavy rain. You can see the video here.
“The ultra-long-range capabilities of our adaptive LiDAR enables OEMs to release new revenue-generating applications like highway autopilot or hub-to-hub autonomous trucking,” says Jordan Greene, general manager of advanced driver-assistance systems and vice president of corporate development at AEye. “Being able to deliver this performance in all weather conditions ensures these applications can be safely implemented in even the toughest driving environments.”
Vehicle integration is made possible by AEye’s bistatic architecture, which separates the transmission and receiving paths, providing optical isolation and ensuring any reflected light doesn’t blind the sensor like it does in traditional coaxial LiDAR systems.
The high-performance is enhanced further by the 1,550 nanometer lasers, whose longer wavelength better penetrates obscurants, providing superior detection in rain, snow, and smoke.
Unlike traditional sensing systems, which passively collect data, AEye’s adaptive LiDAR scans the entire scene while focusing on what matters in order to enable safer, smarter, and faster decisions in complex scenarios. As a result, the technology enables higher levels of autonomous functionality at an optimal price.
In another test at the ACM track, the sensor detected five bricks and a black dog through heavy rain and a second surface in a dark tunnel from 120 meters away. Neither of the objects were visible to the naked eye.
In March, AEye announced VSI Labs verified the LiDAR’s breakthrough range, resolution and speed capabilities, as well as its ability to place the sensor behind first surfaces, such as the windshield or grill, with minimal performance impact. The latter is critical to automotive OEMs, as it provides OEMs flexibility in implementing sensors within their designs, without compromising aesthetics or changing the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
AEye is the first and only LiDAR provider to have its performance independently verified and published by a reputable third-party testing organizations. The company also has had the ruggedness of the sensor verified by global product test, inspection, and certification leaders NTS in California, where it was put through extreme automotive shock and vibration tests.
The company remains on track to complete its previously announced business combination agreement with CF Financial Acquisition Corp. III, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, in the third quarter of 2021. The combination is expected to provide up to $455 million in gross proceeds.
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