The Mass Production of the ‘Eye’ of Smart Cars Is Gaining Momentum, WIMI 3D Lidar Moves to Advanced Autonomous Driving

January 07 21:51 2022

The trend of “electrification, intelligence, interconnection and sharing” has become the consensus of the industry. Among them, intelligent technologies include equipped with advanced sensors and other devices to improve the level of intelligent driving, and the use of AI to enhance human-computer interaction experience. The popularization of intelligentization promotes the evolution of automobile from a driving tool to an intelligent mobile space, which is the main direction of the current development of automobile industry. The diminishing marginal cost of intelligent upgrading of vehicles makes the speed of automatic driving upgrade accelerate after L3. In order to achieve high-level autonomous driving technology (above L4), the most critical component is not “lidar”. This has almost become a default axiom in the autonomous driving engineering community.

Why can autonomous driving be achieved faster by Lidar

Perception is the prerequisite of intelligent driving, its detection accuracy, breadth and speed directly affect the driving safety of intelligent driving. Environment perception is the basis of automatic driving, and improving the perception ability is a required course of automatic driving. The basic principle and process of automatic driving lies in: firstly, the sensors of the perception layer acquire and construct accurate road condition information (including object modeling and vehicle positioning, etc.), then make decision planning by the information output of the perception layer, send instructions to the executive end, and finally, the executive end actually controls the vehicle behavior. The upgrade from L2 to L3 level of autonomous driving means a leap forward from assisted driving to unmanned driving. The requirements for high-precision modeling and massive real-time computing are increasing exponentially, and the technical difficulties behind them are increasing dramatically. The key link is front-end perception, that is, how to perceive and build a complete model of road conditions.

Lidar has many characteristics such as high accuracy and high applicability, and the addition of lidar enhanced sensor hardware can significantly improve the effect of environmental perception. At present, sensors mainly include cameras, millimeter wave radar and lidar, etc. Lidar has the highest accuracy among all sensors and is less dependent on algorithms. From Mobileye’s pioneering to Tesla’s development, vision is still the mainstream of intelligent driving, but it is still controversial whether it is fully capable of autonomous driving above L3 level. In the early stage, the high cost of lidar led to the application of Robotaxi, but the effect and mature application itself can exceed the visual system. As the core sensor, lidar can break the algorithm and data barriers built by the pioneers of vision system, and is expected to become the core sensor of the latecomers, which has great market potential from the commercial perspective.

Through active detection technology, lidar can directly build road model and reduce the difficulty of analysis. The modeling of objects and road conditions can be realized directly through active detection, which greatly reduces the difficulty of visual analysis. The core principle of lidar is to use the echo time measurement method used by bat ranging. Infrared pulse light is emitted by laser diode, and part of the beam is emitted after the pulse light hits the surface of the object. The beam is received and recorded by the photon detector mounted on the lidar. The distance between the target surface and the lidar detector can be calculated by calculating the time difference between launch and detection. Because lidar can emit a large number of pulses of light in a second, it can form a huge amount of information about the location of points and create a precise outline of objects to build a three-dimensional model of the surrounding environment. In addition to measuring distance, lidar can also initially identify the material composition of the object and other characteristics, including the use of induced Doppler frequency shift.

The mass production of lidar is approaching and the market is wide

The lidar integrated high-precision map scheme can effectively make up for the defects of high environmental dependence, large computing power demand and short detection range of the vision scheme, and its performance advantages are very suitable for the oEMS to pursue the demand of high-order automatic driving. The laser radar scheme is to add laser radar on the basis of the original sensing device to complete the detection of road and vehicle information. Lidar transmits laser beam to measure the relative distance between the edge of object contour and the device in the field of view, and then the captured contour information is composed of point cloud, and the 3D environment map is drawn and transmitted to the system for analysis and vehicle driving instructions. Lidar effectively makes up for the defects of high environmental dependence of vision scheme, large computing power demand and short detection range, and realizes all-day monitoring. Its performance advantages are in line with the urgent pursuit of high-order automatic driving requirements of oems. Most oems have classified lidar as an indispensable sensing device for L3 and above.

At the same time, lidar’s 3D construction capability and accurate depth perception make it an unshakable player in industrial surveying and autonomous driving. In 2017, lidar received its first wave of widespread attention thanks to the L4 autonomous driving commercial market. In 2021, there will be 23 models equipped with lidar, said one lidar marketing manager. “After a long silence, lidar’s first year in the car market has finally come.” By 2025, 18 to 20 percent of new car models could be equipped with lidar. At the moment, a number of oems have also announced that their models will carry lidar products in the next few years. Volkswagen, for example, has teamed up with Aeva, a lidar maker, to power its porsche and Audi premium brands. In terms of new car manufacturing forces, Xiaopeng has cooperated with Livox, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DJI, to build the Lidar Horiz, which has been loaded on the car and can detect a distance of 150 meters.

With the global deployment of self-driving cars, the United States, China, Germany, Canada and other countries are leading the world in lidar technology. The current lidar market competition pattern, the global lidar market as a whole is in the research and development stage, OEM, component giants and technology companies are in different ways to advance the market layout. As everyone is Shouting “software-defined car”, the field of auto autonomous driving has attracted many Internet manufacturers and mobile phone manufacturers. At the same time, the software charging model brought by software-defined cars and the gradual establishment of the automotive software ecosystem make the automobile industry transform and upgrade from the traditional manufacturing industry to the technology industry.

WIMI 3D lidar creates billions of blue ocean commercial solutions

As a global AI computer vision holographic AR representative of the enterprise, WIMI in the name of technological innovation into the autonomous driving and vehicle market. Compared with the original market head players are more aware of the broad development of the lidar market node has arrived. WIMI is catching up with it in the lidar space, with prospective products and a number of automotive partners hitting the excitement of the mass market. It is reported that WIMI was established in 2015 and successfully listed on NASDAQ in April 2020, NASDAQ stock code: WiMi. In one year, the revenue of the whole holographic business exceeded 700 million yuan, and it also received hundreds of millions of strategic investment funds from weibo and other investment institutions.

WIMI focuses on holographic cloud services, Mainly gathered in car AR holographic HUD, 3 d holographic pulse LiDAR, head-wear field holographic equipment, holographic semiconductor, holographic cloud software, holographic car navigation and other professional fields, covering from the holographic car AR technology, 3 d holographic pulse LiDAR holographic visual semiconductor technology, holographic technology, software development, holographic AR advertising technology, holographic AR entertainment technology , holographic ARSDK payment, interactive holographic communication and other holographic AR technology links, is a holographic cloud comprehensive technology solution provider. Applied research and development in semiconductor, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data, 5G and other fields. Since July 2020, the company has started to develop its semiconductor business and provide comprehensive solutions of computer chip products and central processing algorithms and related services as well as software and semiconductor businesses to enterprise customers.

After announcing the acquisition of a patent for waveform generation processing device for optical holography, WIMI will assist 3D holographic pulsed lidar industry applications, and also cover scene applications in the field of autonomous driving. WiMi HoloPulse LiDAR has developed 3D holographic pulsed LiDAR product “WiMi HoloPulse LiDAR” to further expand the company’s holographic product portfolio matrix. The WiMi HoloPulse LiDAR is a multi-functional holographic pulsed 3D solid state LiDAR designed to achieve long detection distances of over 200m and capture high-resolution 3D holographic images. LiDAR uses MEMS microscopes to provide high resolution, long detection range and wide field of view. Flexible adjustment of vertical resolution and frame rate, such as dynamic definition of focus area; Reliable detection of weak reflection from distant objects and strong reflection from close objects; Precise location in 3d space is determined by filtering, correlation and statistical analysis; The point cloud generated by the LiDAR sensor maps the sensor environment in the form of 3D. The command is transmitted to the actuator through the control of deep neural network and 3D holographic data is presented.

The multi-function holographic pulsed lidar sensor of WIMI, with large detection field, long detection range, has a unique scanning mode, small size and light weight. With its own point cloud interface, the operation does not need to connect the adapter box. The WiMi HoloPulse LiDAR solution provides a software development package with hardware products, including target detection, classification, and counting functions. Combined with software recognition algorithms, it can provide solutions for many fields (autonomous driving, environmental perception, 3D holographic imaging, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), traffic management, 3D printing, etc.), and rapidly expand the application market of holographic technology. In the auto parts market, which is closely related to autonomous driving, and the emerging things in the autonomous driving industry, the WIMI lidar has also become a vehicle marketing tool to some extent under the impetus of the Chinese autonomous driving market and new forces to build cars.

As a listed company in the holographic AR industry, WIMI has a high global popularity. The global lidar market is expected to exceed $6.4 billion by 2024 as the penetration rate of lidar sensors driven by autonomous driving increases and the demand for high level autonomous driving at L3 level and above increases. The first year of pre-installation mass production of 2021 lidar has arrived.

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