AEye Inc, a robotic perception pioneer, has introduced iDAR, a new form of intelligent data collection that enables rapid, dynamic perception and path planning. iDAR (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) combines the world’s first agile MOEMS LiDAR, pre-fused with a low-light camera and embedded artificial intelligence – creating software-definable and extensible hardware that can dynamically adapt to real-time demands. iDAR will deliver higher accuracy, longer range, and more intelligent information to optimise path planning software, enabling radically improved autonomous vehicle safety and performance at a reduced cost.
AEye’s iDAR is designed to intelligently prioritise and interrogate co-located pixels (2D) and voxels (3D) within a frame, enabling the system to target and identify objects within a scene 10-20x more effectively than LiDAR-only products. Additionally, iDAR is capable of overlaying 2D images on 3D point clouds for the creation of True Color LiDAR. Its embedded AI capabilities enable iDAR to utilise thousands of existing and custom computer vision algorithms, which add intelligence that can be leveraged by path planning software. The introduction of iDAR follows AEye’s September demonstration of the first 360 degree, vehicle-mounted, solid-state LiDAR system with ranges up to 300 meters at high resolution.
“AEye’s unique architecture has allowed us to address many of the fundamental limitations of first generation spinning or raster scanning LiDAR technologies,” said Luis Dussan, AEye founder and CEO. “These first generation systems silo sensors and use rigid asymmetrical data collection that either oversample or undersample information. This dynamic exposes an inherent tradeoff between density and latency in legacy sensors, which restricts or eliminates the ability to do intelligent sensing. For example, while traditional 64 line systems can hit an object once per frame (every 100ms or so), we can, with intelligent sensing, selectively revisit any chosen object twice within 30 microseconds – an improvement of 3000X. This embedded intelligence optimises data collection, so we can transfer less data while delivering better quality, more relevant content.”
AEye is also announcing the iDAR Development Partner Program for OEM customers, Tier 1 partners, and universities interested in integrating iDAR into their vehicles. The company will demo iDAR and announce its automotive product suite at CES 2018 in Las Vegas from January 9-12.