Toshiba unveils palm-sized LiDAR with 300 m range for autonomous driving
Toshiba has revealed a new palm-sized laser projector for autonomous driving. The new technology would extend the LiDAR detection range of the vehicle to 300 m (~984 ft). The company claims this is a world record for a 1,200 x 84 px image resolution. Toshiba says it would be the world’s smallest LiDAR system, measuring 71 cm³ (~4.3-in³).
The new solution uses multiple projector units to increase the device’s range. The gadget’s small size is achieved through a smaller motor control board and advanced 3D component mounting. Toshiba explained that you could tweak the projector for long-range or wide-angle scenarios.
LiDAR technology is already used in vehicles for Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous driving features. Toshiba suggests that the current system struggles to clearly capture objects in 3D, with particularly poor performance in darker conditions. The new technology from the company would help a car precisely read road conditions, improving the vehicle’s safety.
Toshiba will launch its commercial LiDAR in the fiscal year 2023. While the primary use will be in autonomous vehicles, the technology could also be used for precise infrastructure monitoring, in robots, drones and security devices. The company said that it is exploring partnerships to cover these broader applications.