And it can spot a road hazard a claimed 1,000 meters away.
AEye, an obvious play on the abbreviation for artificial intelligence, is a company that has been developing adaptive Lidar systems, driver assist systems and robotic vision applications since it was founded in 2013. It's newest system, brought to us during a virtual press conference, is a new Lidar setup that can track objects 1,000 meters away. We can see it in operation here on the electric Jaguar I-Pace.
At first that seems like overkill, even for a high-level autonomous system, until AEye explained that's how far it takes an 80,000-pound truck to stop when traveling at 65 mph, as one would on the expressway. AEye has previously done work for the aerospace and defense industry, and is now turning its eye toward passenger vehicles.
Earlier this month AEye and partners headed out to Ypsilanti, Michigan to test the system in real-world conditions that included a rainstorm, where many assisted driving systems don't work as well.
"Being able to deliver this performance in all weather conditions ensures these applications can be safely implemented in even the toughest driving environments," said Jordan Greene, GM of ADAS and VP of corporate development at AEye.
"Having already verified AEye's extreme long-range detection, this was an important follow-up test to ensure that 1,000-meter performance would stand up in less than ideal weather conditions, and when mounted behind the glass of a windshield," said Phil Magney, founder and president at VSI Labs. "We were impressed with the sensor's performance on both counts - which certainly bodes well for OEMs looking to implement reliable, high-performance LiDAR."
The system is so fast and accurate that it can track a bullet, fired from a gun, in real-time. Green says it's a low-power, low-cost option for automakers.
AEye will work with Tier 1 suppliers, who will manufacture the systems, control the quality, and customize them as necessary for each application. Currently its partners include Continental, Aisin, Hella and LG Electronics.
Continental will start producing the first such system in 2024, which means we'll see them shortly after that.