Among the offerings this time around are claims for record-breaking resolution, field-of-view, and cost, alongside a number of demonstrations of the technology inside cars and taxis. Here’s our round-up of lidar-related announcements so far:
• San Francisco-based Ouster has released what it claims is a whole new category of lidar, designed to provide an “ultra-wide” field of view (FOV). Its new 128-channel “OS0” product offers a 95-degree vertical FOV with a 50 meter range, while its “OS2” system - also new - combines a range in excess of 240 meters with industry-leading resolution.
“The OS0 marks a new category of ultra-wide field-of-view lidar optimized for autonomous vehicle and robotics applications,” announced the firm. “The OS0-128 was designed for the rigors of commercial deployment and has already secured multiple design wins from leading robotaxi and autonomous trucking OEM customers.”
One of those customers is Michigan-based autonomous shuttle operator May Mobility. Tom Voorheis, the firm’s director of autonomy engineering, said: “The Ouster OS0 will provide critical information for navigating urban environments full of tight spaces and crowded streets.”
Graphics chip pioneer Nvidia is also on board, and says it will use the OS2 version of Ouster’s technology in its “long-range perception” offerings. Ouster has priced its OS2-128 product at $24,000, while the OS0-128 costs $18,000.
• Also revealing hook-ups with robotic taxis in Las Vegas this year is Silicon Valley’s AEye. Its 1550 nm wavelength “iDAR” platform features in a series of partner demonstrations at the CES event, including a concept “RoboTaxi” vehicle built by Indian car and steel giant Tata.
Company president Blair LaCorte said: “This is an exciting time, with disruptive innovation happening throughout the automotive sector that will forever transform how people and goods will move from point A to point B.
“This year at CES, we are excited to showcase the incredible advancements in our iDAR perception platform, and how our partners are embracing and extending iDAR to accelerate innovation, and the availability of autonomous features.”
AEye’s own booth will feature an interactive basketball challenge. Attendees will see their “free throw” shots tracked in real-time by iDAR, with the system forecasting whether the ball will hit the backboard, rim, or go straight into the net.