The acronym LiDAR stands for light imaging detection and ranging.
LiDAR systems are an integral part of almost all driving assistance systems (other than one primary exception, Tesla). Systems such as lane assist and emergency braking in autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles employ LiDAR to calculate distances.
A LiDAR system gives off very short laser light pulses. When a laser pulse hits an object or person, the light is reflected and captured by a detector. The very short time that it takes for the light to hit the object or person and get reflected back is used to calculate the distance to that object. A driver assistance or self-driving safety system can then determine whether, for example, the vehicle should brake, reduce speed, or drive around the person or object.
Company Launches SPL SPL DS90A_3 Pulsed Laser Diode
Osram Opto Semiconductors has introduced its new SPL DS90A_3 laser pulsed laser diode, which the company says offers a more powerful and more efficient pulsed laser diode to its portfolio for LiDAR systems.
The edge-emitting, infrared laser beam scans the vicinity of the car across a particular angle segment. Combined, the scans create a high-resolution 3D map of the environment. This 3D map reportedly enables the technology to quickly react to any traffic situation.
The company gives the example of a car traveling at a speed of 50 miles an hour. At this velocity, the car covers about 22 meters every second. So, every extra second that drivers take to react can result in serious consequences for drivers and other road users.
The SPL DS90A_3 can be operated at high currents up to 40 A, and it achieves a typical output power of 125 W. The laser is qualified for use in automotive applications and boasts long life and high efficiency. Also, the laser diode’s compact size allows for flexible system design within the vehicle.