Detroit’s Ibeo Develops Automotive Photon Laser Sensor

Ibeo Automotive Systems, a LiDAR sensor specialist based in Germany that has a U.S. subsidiary in Detroit, has developed a new type of photon laser measurement technology sensor that is suitable for driver assistance systems and automated driving.
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ibeoNEXT sensor
Ibeo Automotive’s ibeoNEXT sensor experiences the world in the “fourth dimension,” acting as a sensor and camera. // Image courtesy of Ibeo Automotive Systems

Ibeo Automotive Systems, a LiDAR sensor specialist based in Germany that has a U.S. subsidiary in Detroit, has developed a new type of photon laser measurement technology sensor that is suitable for driver assistance systems and automated driving.

The sensor can process more than 1 million distance values per second.

The company will begin worldwide delivery of the ibeoNEXT to partners and customers starting in October. It works without moving parts (real solid-state) and generates a high-resolution 3-D point cloud for object detection as well as an additional black and white image.

The sensor offers a unique feature – the additionally generated intensity image, which also allows it to function as a black and white camera. This is why Ibeo calls this the fourth dimension. The intensity image helps with lane recognition while driving. The compact and modular design of the new ibeoNEXT sensor allows different setups for customer use cases.

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

“LiDAR is the perfect key technology to ensure maximum security in the automation of processes,” says Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo. “Our new ibeoNEXT solid-state LiDAR meets these requirements with flying colors and can be used in a wide range of applications. We’ve already seen great demand in the market and are proud to now be delivering the first products. My special thanks go to Ibeo’s employees, who, with their passion and pioneering spirit, have created an innovative and very promising product.”

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems emit laser pulses and evaluate the light reflected from different objects. Software calculates the distance to the surrounding objects by using what is termed the light travel time, or the time the reflected laser pulse needs until it reaches the sensor again. In conventional LiDAR systems, a rotating mirror covers the field of view. With the new ibeoNEXT LiDAR, this moving part no longer exists because semiconductor technology is used instead.

The ibeoNEXT can process many laser pulses in parallel, resulting in a 3-D model of the environment that recognizes crash barriers and road markings as well as cars, cyclists, and pedestrians and their respective position and direction of movement. Cameras produce a two-dimensional image that needs to be spatially interpreted by software, while LiDAR systems provide a 3-D image.

Ibeo established its U.S. subsidiary, Ibeo Automotive USA Inc., in August 2019.

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