CES – AEye, a robotic perception pioneer, announced the AE100™, a leading-edge robotic perception system for autonomous vehicle, ADAS, and mobility markets. The AE100 is a solid state, cost-optimized system based on AEye’s iDAR™ technology, a new form of intelligent data collection that enables rapid, dynamic perception and enhanced path planning. iDAR (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) integrates three core components: the world’s first agile MOEMS LiDAR, pre-fused and bore-sighted with a low-light HD video camera; distributed artificial intelligence; and software-definable and extensible hardware. This powerful combination enables iDAR to dynamically adapt to the real-time demands of automated and autonomous vehicles.
The AE100 will be available beginning this summer to OEMs and Tier 1s launching autonomous vehicle initiatives. The company’s iDAR Development Partner Program is currently available to partners interested in integrating iDAR into their products. At CES in Las Vegas this week, AEye will be offering private demonstrations and in-car on-road experiences by appointment. To schedule a demonstration, visit AEye at booth #2506.
“The AE100 is a game-changer for the autonomous vehicle and ADAS markets, as it makes iDAR technology commercially available for the first time,” said Luis Dussan, founder and CEO of AEye. “iDAR-based robotic perception allows sensors to mimic the visual cortex – bringing real-time intelligence to data collection. As a result, the system not only captures everything in a scene - it actually brings higher resolution to key objects and exceeds industry required speeds and distances. By solving for the limitations of first generation LiDAR-only solutions, AEye is enabling the safe, timely rollout of failsafe commercial autonomous vehicles.”
Leveraging a more powerful, yet safer, 1550-nm laser, AEye’s agile, iDAR-powered AE100 system can always interrogate 100% of the scene, while typical fixed pattern LiDAR systems are only capable of interrogating 6% of any scene, due to huge vertical gaps inherent in raster or spinning systems. With its embedded intelligence, the AE100 offers key advantages:
* Coverage: The AE100 can use dynamic patterns for mapping the environment, as it is not tied to one fixed mode. In evaluating any given scene, AE100’s software definable scanning delivers more than 10x the 3D resolution over legacy systems.
* Speed: It’s 3x faster, and does not miss any objects between scans while identifying and solving any temporal anomalies. This reduces scan gaps, resulting in more than 25 feet of faster response distance at average highway speeds – more than two car lengths.
* Range: The AE100 extends effective range at comparable resolution by 7-10x over currently deployed LiDAR systems.
The Power of iDAR
AEye’s iDAR technology mimics how a human’s visual cortex focuses on and evaluates potential driving hazards. Using a distributed architecture, iDAR critically and dynamically assesses general surroundings, while applying differentiated focus to track targets and objects of interest. This scalable, software-definable approach enables iDAR to deliver higher accuracy, longer range, and more intelligent information to optimize path planning software - enabling drastically improved autonomous vehicle safety and performance at a reduced cost.
“The scorecard of performance characteristics used to judge current LiDAR-only systems must be rewritten from basic serial data collection to intelligent and value-added information creation,” said John Stockton, vice president of product at AEye. “Up until now, basic capabilities such as resolution, speed, and range have been the only metrics tracked. iDAR brings new capabilities that redefine robotic perception performance, such as target acquisition time and blob revisit rates, where iDAR delivers a 3000x improvement. The result is a system that has the capability to very quickly or instantaneously calculate things such as 3D multivariable velocity and acceleration, true color point clouds, and augmented single centimeter level localization for radically improved control, innovation and performance of path-planning software.”
Deploying the AE100
Built on the iDAR technology platform, the AE100 is designed specifically for the automotive and mobility markets and is the first of a family of products to support autonomous vehicles, ADAS and general mobility. It will have a limited release in mid- 2018, and a larger commercial release later in Q3.
Given the innovative adaptive nature of iDAR, specifications will be software definable for the first time ever by frame or region of interest or Pixels/Voxels within specific frames. This gives OEM’s and Tier 1s ultimate control of perception. Customizable general performance specifications include up to 200Hz frame rates, less than 60μs object or blob revisit rates, software-definable resolution of .09 degrees H/V, and a maximum range of 300-400 meters. In addition, iDAR’s seamless integration of 2D and 3D data allows for virtual “plug and play” extension of all computer vision algorithms into a 3D point cloud with no added latency.
“In conjunction with our OEM and Tier 1 partners, we have developed a product that addresses the complex system requirements, high standards and performance demands of our customers,” said Barry Behnken, AEye’s VP of Engineering. “A key objective was to design a solid state modular platform that is software definable in order to increase reliability and optimize the cost. We created an easy transition from first generation spinning LiDAR hardware that allows path planning software teams to plug and play the AE100 as they replace their legacy systems. It requires no software changes, and enables them to bring in the more advanced features over time.”
AEye is a robotic perception pioneer and creator of iDAR™, a new form of intelligent data collection that acts as the eyes and visual cortex of autonomous vehicles. Since its demonstration of its solid state LiDAR scanner in 2013, AEye has pioneered breakthroughs in intelligent sensing. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and backed by world-renowned investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Airbus Ventures and Intel Capital. For more information, please visit www.aeye.ai