Autonomous vehicles are moving closer to becoming reality. Cars are becoming more intelligent, and the vehicle sensor suite of LiDAR, radar and cameras are together creating the next wave of autonomous mobility.
It’s no secret that autonomy in vehicles is taking longer to perfect than initially predicted. Size, speed, complexity and cost of the current generation of the hardware stack is just one obstacle to the commercialization of any technology that depends on it. But there are many milestones in one of the most difficult technological undertakings ever, and we’re just getting started.
Where we are today: Making cars is straightforward. Making the radar, LiDAR, cameras, sensors and computer gear work together to ensure the highest level of safety for autonomous driving is not. Perfecting the ability for hardware and software to see things and understand what they are at the level of a human is incredibly difficult.
This perception challenge is what the team at AEye was tackling when we met in 2016. They were exploring how technology can be used to more efficiently and effectively understand the most important information to keep humans safe. We believed in Luis Dussan’s approach of dynamically changing the pattern of laser energy being put out to only scan what’s important, similar to the function of the fovea in a human eye. We knew that LiDAR would be a critical building block to enable all forms of self-driving, whether it was fully autonomous or not, and that this would be the best way to solve the problem.
What AEye has created is the highest performing LiDAR with dynamic perception and extraordinary range and speed. AEye’s LiDAR sensor scans its surroundings and then, with help from its perception software, identifies and focuses on relevant objects.
This technology has an obvious home in cars, which will continue to be AEye’s foundational market. But the opportunity for their integrated perception system stretches beyond the automotive industry, to everything that has a camera today. At the right price and reliability, AEye will be part of wider industrial and mobility applications in mining, trucking, traffic systems, aviation and drones.
The AEye team understands the potential of their technology and the ecosystem of the world they fit into. And this is only the beginning. This milestone enables AEye to bring the world’s most sophisticated LiDAR to market and scale operations to deliver the future of perception, and transform transportation.
We want to congratulate the entire AEye team on making history.