Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc. has made recent headlines in the autonomous space—they’ve “exceeded expectations” mapping and scanning San Francisco highways and congested city streets with their Doppler lidar. The company is known for pioneering the first Doppler lidar for automotive applications.
Aiming to improve self-driving cars’ safety, intelligence, and reliability, Blackmore’s Doppler-enhanced sensor is currently the only lidar on the market that supplies real-time velocity calculations of each detected point. It’s only after complex computations and analysis, all of which are prone to errors, that conventional pulsed lidar systems offer velocity measurements.
The sensor also enhances long-range performance, and reduces interference from the sun and additional sensors.
“Until recently, OEMs and suppliers have only had pulsed lidar options for their vehicles, which have proven to be inadequate for the autonomous driving market’s long-term goals,” says Blackmore’s CEO Dr. Randy Reibel. “Engineers with leading autonomous driving teams are ecstatic to see Blackmore’s Doppler lidar in action. They understand the value of Blackmore’s unprecedented approach and are excited to tap into a system that is economically efficient, reliable, and scalable, without compromise.”
Blackmore, along with the Department of Defense (DoD), has spent more than 10 years researching frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar, backed by BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures, among others.
Currently, the Doppler lidar system is circulating around OEMs and suppliers across the industry.
Below is a single frame of the raw Doppler lidar data. It depicts pedestrians at a crosswalk, delineating position and instantons motion.