While most people at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) are talking about 3D Flash LIDAR in cars, Brashtech is putting the Continental G6A1 Flash LiDAR Camera in their drones. Evan Flyn, Engineer for the High-resolution 3D Flash Lidar ADAS, Continental said that the properties that make this Lidar so valuable in a car are the same needed for a drone. Continental acquired the Hi-Res 3D Flash LIDAR business from Advanced Scientific Concepts, Inc. in 2015.
Flash LIDARs do not suffer from synchronization issues, and when synchronized with a color camera it produces incredible color pictures in real time. The provides both real-time machine vision as well as environmental mapping functions. Continental says this gives a significantly more detailed accurate field of sight around the entire vehicle. It is independent of day or night time and robust in adverse weather conditions.
The 3D Flash Lidar is a global shutter camera that captures the scene all at once and will fulfill automotive requirements for the first time. The key feature is that the 3D Flash Lidar uses a global shutter versus a Rolling Shutter. There are no spatial distortions in a global shutter, and the sensor data fusion is fused together in real time.
A key reason is that of the post-processing amount of time. The 3D Flash Lidar generates a high-resolution 3D point cloud 30 times per second within its 120° field of vision.
That means a precise distance measurement is taken in real time for every pixel in the field of vision. This measurement produces a list of objects that are then used to define the vehicle’s driving strategy. Continental says the interconnected pixels of 3D Flash LIDAR make it impervious to the effects of reflection, and together with the high degree of robustness in unfavorable weather conditions, which further increases the sensor’s performance capabilities. Along with other sensors for monitoring surroundings, such as radar and cameras, 3D Flash LIDAR forms a robust package for detecting everything around the vehicle at any time.
BrashTech touts themselves as an aerial data capture, visualization and analytics service delivering critical business information through intelligent 3D models to Asset Managers. BrashTech’s 3D Flash LiDAR camera is already being used on most commercial drone platforms as an integrated unit. It will be a couple more years before the 3D Flash Lidar will produce the Lidars for vehicles.