6 February 2020
Osram adds 65W single-channel pulsed infrared laser for short-range LiDAR in autonomous driving
Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg, Germany has added the 65-Watt SPL DP90_3 laser to its light detection & ranging (LiDAR) photonics portfolio.
For autonomous driving to become widespread, several legal and technological hurdles must be overcome in the upcoming years, notes the firm. Nevertheless, car manufacturers and mobility service providers are already working on their visions for driverless vehicles. The need for autonomous vehicles to more comprehensively and reliably detect their surroundings makes the number and arrangement of sensors, such as LiDAR, more critical. With the SPL DP90_3, Osram Opto is expanding its portfolio with a component that has been specially developed for high-resolution, near-field detection in LiDAR systems.
Osram notes that there is now a broad consensus that only a sensor fusion of LiDAR, radar and camera systems can provide the necessary security for fully autonomous driving. Each of these technologies has advantages and disadvantages depending on the respective scenario, but overall the better they are coordinated the safer the vehicle moves through traffic. For example, LiDAR systems are strong in generating high-resolution 3D information in real time.
Long-range LiDAR is used to detect objects up to about 250m away. The immediate surroundings of the car must also be reliably captured by short- or mid-range LiDAR, which covers a distance up to about 90m from the vehicle (i.e. classic traffic situations such as passing cars on highways or driving in urban traffic).
With the SPL DP90_3, Osram is presenting a new single-channel pulsed laser that features improved beam quality and particularly compact dimensions. Due to its space-saving footprint of just 0.3mm x 0.6mm, system manufacturers can create extremely compact designs, says the firm. An efficiency of about 30% helps to reduce the overall cost of the system during operation. With an optical output of 65W at 20A, the new device is suitable for capturing the immediate vehicle surroundings, ensuring high-resolution images for subsequent systems.
“Groundbreaking decisions are currently being made about which components will be used in which systems for autonomous driving,” says Jörg Strauss, general manager & VP for Visualization & Laser at Osram Opto. “Thanks to our many years of experience in the development and production of special infrared lasers for LiDAR systems, we enjoy a high level of trust among our customers,” he claims.