Innoviz Breaking the Myths About Autonomous Driving
After the first fatal accidents involving autonomous cars, self-driving vehicle skeptics started to spread negative opinions about the new technology. In response to that, Uber temporarily stopped its self-driving tests.
Consequently, other car makers are also taking a more conservative approach to the technology. It’s vital for autonomous vehicles to perceive their environment and recognize dangers and obstacles that may come their way.
The manufacturers of autonomous cars rely on various systems ranging from cameras and ultrasound to radar. One of the most promising technologies is the LiDAR. The startup Innoviz Technologies was able show their expertise in this field with their first product—a High Definition Solid State LiDAR (HD-SSL). The company claims their solution offers superior performance at lower cost and comes in smaller size than existing solutions.
Innoviz was founded in January 2016 by former members of the elite technological unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. “All founders are renowned experts in the fields of electro-optics, computer vision, MEMS design and signal processing.” explained Lauren Tascan.
How Does LiDAR Work?
LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and is similar to the “classic” radar. However, instead of radio waves, the LiDAR sensor continually fires off beams of laser light and measures how fast the light returns to the sensor. The LiDAR calculates size, shape, distance, movement and the speed of the objects in all directions.
Images generated using LiDAR are more accurate than those made by a radar or a sonar. The system also works reliably in rain, snow, darkness and fog, in contrast with cameras.
Magna and Innoviz Partner to Supply BMW with LiDAR Sensors
BMW struck a deal with industry supplier Magna and Innoviz as its partner. They will be the lead providers of the solid-state LiDAR sensing for their iNext autonomous vehicles. In addition to LiDAR technology, Innoviz brings object detection (people, cars, trucks, bikes, lane markings), tracking, classification and other functionality to BMW. The vehicle should launch on the market in 2021.