apanese technology giant Mitsubishi Electric says it has developed a compact lidar system aimed at use in future autonomous vehicles.
The Tokyo firm claims that its selection of an optical MEMS-based approach achieves an extra-wide horizontal scanning angle that can detect the shapes and distances of objects ahead of a self-driving vehicle.
“The new lidar solution irradiates objects by laser and uses a dual-axis (horizontal and vertical) MEMS mirror to scan for the reflected light, generating three-dimensional images of vehicles and pedestrians,” it announced. “Mitsubishi Electric expects this compact, low-cost solution to contribute to the realization of safe, secure autonomous driving.”
Because it relies on collecting pulses of reflected laser light to map the surroundings of a moving vehicle, one of the requirements is to maximize light collection. The Mitsubishi team has chosen to do that by using a MEMS mirror with a large surface area.
On top of that, a wide scanning angle is needed for accurate monitoring of the vehicle’s periphery. In response, Mitsubishi Electric says its approach incorporates what is claimed to be the industry's largest electromagnetic MEMS mirror, measuring 7 mm by 5 mm.