What is the problem with "LIDAR" which occupies a large position in the realization of automatic driving car
Many automated driving cars that use artificial intelligence (AI) while grasping surrounding circumstances use laser to grasp the positional relationship of surrounding objects "LIDAR(Rider) "is equipped with a device called. Although it is a LIDAR that can be said as the essential part of an automated driving car, it seems that many challenges are still left for its development.
Self-Driving Cars' Spinning-Laser Problem - MIT Technology Review
LIDAR is an abbreviation acronym for "Light Detection And Ranging" which is one of the remote sensing technologies to grasp the positional relationship and distance of surrounding objects by using laser beams. By using a laser beam with a shorter wavelength than "radar" using sound waves, it is possible to measure finer distances and it is possible to grasp the distance to an object 100 meters away in units of a few centimeters.
Currently the most common LIDAR devices are mounted on the roof of a car such as the one of the type which always rotates at high speed. It is a device that measures the positional relationship and the distance with the own vehicle by measuring the time until the laser beam is reflected on the mirror incorporated in the cylindrical device and irradiating the surroundings and returning. Although this vehicle itself was used by Google for the development of an automatic driving car several years ago, the basic shape and mechanism has not changed significantly even today.
Except for Tesla using camera and radar for sensing technology, this LIDAR is indispensable for the realization of automatic driving car. However, in the world of automatic driving car technology which is in the process of rapid evolution, there are circumstances in which the field related to LIDAR actually does not catch up. The traditional LIDAR market is extremely niche and the demand itself was limited and it is said that the pace of development itself can not keep pace with the rapid increase in needs as at present .
It is the "size" of the LIDAR device that symbolizes this. The following vehicles are prototypes of the automatic driving car that UBER uses for development, but large equipment is placed on the roof and LIDAR that pierces like a chimney is listed at the top of it. For the purpose of grasping the surroundings, there is a fact that it is preferable that the LIDAR be installed as high as possible, but to the sound of the latest technology, "automatic driving car", a device of about unparalleled size However, it seems that it can be said that it can not be helped even if the appearance of turning round and round has a slight gap in the era.
Moreover, the fact that the development is not keeping up is directly related to "high cost" as well. LIDAR's price of several thousand dollars to one ten thousand dollars (hundreds of thousands of yen to one million yen) per unit is extremely expensive as parts of automobiles, and at the present stage it reached the stage of considering the very popular stage I can not help being saying it is not there.
There are situations like this, and there are many confusion at the site of the development of automatic driving cars. In February 2017, the independent company "Waymo" took over the automatic driving car project of Google as "we had stolen the trade secrets related to the automatic driving car" and provided the dispatch service and also to automatic driving technology It is evolving into a situation that suits Uber who is working and its subsidiary Otto (OttoMotto · Otto Tracking). It is Waymo's appeal that former employee Anthony Levandowski brought LIDAR's highly confidential material developed by Waymo (= Google) to bring it to Otto. Originally a startup company, Otto is developing LIDAR, and it is believed that this reason for Uber's acquisition was also in this LIDAR.
Waymo who took over Google's automatic driving car plan appeals Uber as "stealing corporate secret" - GIGAZINE
Nonetheless, LIDAR-related companies are not drawing much effort on development. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have succeeded in installing the LIDAR system on one extremely small chip, ultimately resulting in cost of about 1000 yen per piece It is also possible to install LIDAR in an automated driving car.
Succeeded in miniaturizing tips of sensing technology "LIDAR (rider)" that dramatically advances automated driving cars and robots - GIGAZINE
Also based in CaliforniaVelodyneAndQuanergyA startup like a company developing a similar device. We are working on the development of "solid-state" one-chip type LIDAR technology that reduces cost and improves reliability by making it a device that does not have a movable part such as a mirror that reflects the laser, but in fact it is like that Whether devices are on the market is still said to be several years later and there are many unclear parts.
Automatic driving car that Google, BMW, Volvo, Ford etc. are aiming for practical use around 2020, but its possibility is greatly influenced by the development of LIDAR which is very likely to become a necessity It looks likely. Although it can be said that development of solid state LIDAR as above is indispensable, since realization is seen as around 2020, it is not unlikely that the realization of the automatic driving car itself will be a little further ahead Maybe.