The hottest lidar cannot replace how domestic ente

2022-09-22
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Lidar cannot be replaced. How can domestic enterprises tackle key problems

with the landing of automatic driving, lidar, which was originally mainly used for three-dimensional scanning, has become a necessity for autonomous vehicle, and even determines the evolution level of the autonomous driving industry. But in this crucial area of the industry, domestic products have almost no say

lidar cannot be replaced

lidar is a sensor with its own light source. It actively emits laser and senses the surrounding environment, just like bats locate through ultrasonic waves

according to the classification of automatic driving L1-L5, L3 and below belong to auxiliary driving or low-level automatic driving, and L4 and L5 can be regarded as high-level automatic driving or even unmanned driving. At present, automatic driving is below L3. Millimeter wave radar and even camera can meet the visual needs of cars. Tesla has applied the former. However, in order to develop to the high-level autonomous driving stage, affected by the ranging, resolution, accuracy and comprehensiveness of information, lidar cannot be replaced

lidar can accurately measure distance: it can be obtained by multiplying the time when the laser hits the object and returns to the receiver by the speed of light. Because each beam of light has relative position information, lidar can use algorithm to generate high-definition digital map of the surrounding environment of the car in real time for target tracking and recognition. Zhangzhiwu, general manager of Beike Tianhui, a mainstream domestic lidar enterprise, introduced to science and technology that the scanning accuracy of lidar is high and there is no distortion. Millimeter wave radar only knows that there are obstacles in front of it, and cannot accurately describe the size and shape

laser data is vector data, which can be classified, extracted and processed by computer. It can automatically identify lane lines, bumper posts, traffic signs, trees, etc., which other sensors cannot do

lidar is often distinguished by the number of lines, and it is usually designed as an index level of 2, such as 4-line, 8-line, 16-line, 32-line, 64 line and 128 line top-level test products, which are made of a new environmental protection composite material after pretreatment and compounding with other materials. The number of lines refers to the number of laser emission light sources. 16 line products have 16 light sources, and so on. At present, the price of autonomous vehicle has jumped to 100000 to 200000 yuan per ton. Almost all those involved in lidar use American velodyne products. This company was founded in 1983 and located in Silicon Valley. Its lidar products are standard in the industry, accounting for more than 80% of the market share

"chip" can reduce weight and price

the number of lines determines the resolution of lidar. The lidar works in a rotating scanning mode. One light source sweeps around to get a 360 degree horizontal circular line of sight, which is why the "big flowerpot" on the unmanned roof keeps rotating. The more light sources, the denser the line of sight, and the higher the resolution of the real-time map. Zhang Zhiwu uses sketch analogy: sketch is composed of lines. The denser the lines, the clearer the painting

the earliest domestic 16 line products were launched in 2016, and the current maximum is 40 lines

domestic manufacturers generally face the problem of cumbersome technology in manufacturing multi line lidar. Increasing the number of lidar lines in the traditional way is like splicing radiators with wider and wider width, which will double the volume of the product and greatly increase the difficulty of mass production. According to Jin Yuanhao, CEO of Yinbing technology, a lidar enterprise, "under the existing process conditions, increasing the number of wires requires increasing the number of printed circuit boards, and the volume of lidar will also increase significantly. Both scale and integration must be taken into account."

the reason why foreign manufacturers can make 64 or even 128 line lidar is that the chip of internal components plays a decisive role: reducing the volume of lidar, reducing heat dissipation, and contributing to mass production

this requires a special chip with large capacity, fast transmission speed and efficient information processing. At present, domestic lidar enterprises generally buy German OSRAM transmitters. In this regard, Huang Wuling, a domestic intelligent vehicle research expert, stressed that "the localization degree of core chips, especially transmitters and detectors, and the anti-interference ability to complete a variety of friction and wear experiments need to be improved"

unlike chips, receiving chips do not pursue the maximum number of transistors per unit area, but have higher requirements for resolution. The original demand was small, tens of thousands of pieces a year. In the past two years, the tuyere suddenly turned to high-resolution and high-quality sensors. The production process of receiving chips was immature and the technical capacity was insufficient. "The reception of laser signal requires high integration, which was originally done as 1 × 1 single point sensor. Now cars require high resolution, 1064 × 768。” Jin Yuanhao said. It is unrealistic to produce products with this resolution according to independent technology, which is equivalent to the size of half a car windshield. Therefore, domestic products are catching up from chips with less high resolution

independent research and development to prepare for mass production market

domestic research institutes and lidar manufacturers are independently developing transmitting chips and receiving chips, but they are in the primary stage, and the products have not been finalized. "Vehicle mounted lidar is a niche industry. In recent years, with the development of domestic L2 level automatic driving, there is a market. The industry has insufficient technical reserves and insufficient human investment." Jin Yuanhao said. His company is making 16 line laser radar transmitting chips, but it also uses low-cost products to seize market share

the same number of lines, different products have different effects. According to Jin Yuanhao, parameters such as accuracy, stability and resolution are different from mainstream products. In particular, the stability of domestic lidar is relatively insufficient, and the automotive industry has high requirements for safety. The test time is long, and it is difficult to find traces of domestic products in the originally small market

lidar is expensive. First, it is necessary, and second, it is in short supply. This is a seller's market in a complete sense. The price of velodyne's 16 line products halved at the beginning of the year and still reached $4000. The 64 line products carried by Baidu smart car (which is also the highest level applicable in the market at present) are about 8. The use of composite fiber plastic engine makes the car body lighter by $10000, which is more expensive than ordinary cars. Price is the obstacle to the mass production and commercialization of unmanned vehicles

because of this, domestic lidar is going to tackle key problems. According to Zhang Zhiwu, the 16 line products of Beike Tianhua sold for 50000 yuan last year and less than 30000 yuan this year, which is equivalent to the discount of velodyne's 16 line products. "Once they are made, the price will be halved.". Beyond the bargaining space, once autopilot moves from test to mass production, the laser radar market is huge, and domestic products cannot be handed over

new technical solutions are also emerging, "lidar is developing towards solid-state, and domestic manufacturers need to grasp the new direction and develop synchronously with foreign counterparts." Huang Wuling said. Compared with the traditional 360 degree mechanical rotation lidar, solid-state lidar is a revolutionary technology, which reads and writes data based on electronic components and removes mechanical rotating components. On this new track, domestic manufacturers can stand on the same starting line with their foreign counterparts

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