LiDAR technology startup Blickfeld unveils a new long-range LiDAR that detects obstacles at a distance of up to 250 meters
LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. LiDAR sends a pulse and measures the time it takes to reflect back from objects. Since the speed of light is constant, distance can be readily calculated by measuring the time it takes for the beam to return. LiDAR technology has been around since the 1960’s when laser scanners were mounted to planes. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the technology took off because of its application in autonomous vehicles.
One of the leading LiDAR technology startups is Blickfeld, a Munich, Germany-based startup that develops and sells LiDAR sensors and provide the software to interpret complex 3d point clouds. The company has developed a proprietary LiDAR technology based on patented silicon MEMS mirrors and commercial off-the-shelf components.
Today, Blickfeld announced the launch of Cube Range, a MEMS-based LiDAR sensor for extended detection of objects at a distance of up to 250 meters. In combination with the well-established Blickfeld Cube, Blickfeld now offers a full LiDAR suite for autonomous vehicles. The Cube Range sensor was designed as a robust and powerful 3D solid-state LiDAR for the mass market. It has a range of 150 meters with 10 percent reflection; a range of up to 250 meters is easily achievable with higher reflection. In addition, the Cube Range exhibits an impressive resolution of 0.18°.
Founded in 2017 by Florian Petit, Mathias Muller, and Rolf Wojtech, Blickfeld is a provider of cutting-edge LiDAR technology for autonomous mobility and IoT applications. Blickfeld has been collaborating with a Tier 1 automotive supplier since 2019. Blickfeld’s team comprises experienced professionals with proven expertise in electronics, optics, MEMS and software. Blickfeld is backed by venture capital investors including Fluxunit (the corporate venture arm of lighting company Osram), High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures, and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners.
The proven Blickfeld technology allows cost-effective and scalable production of the sensor. The core of this technology is a proprietary silicon MEMS mirror embedded in a coaxial structure that is based on commercial standard components.
With its high resolution and long range, the Cube Range addresses the need for moving objects to be detected with high accuracy. By precisely generating a dense 3D point cloud and then evaluating it in real time using Blickfeld’s software stack, the company makes an important contribution to enabling autonomous driving. The Blickfeld technology ensures precise environmental detection even in darkness, fog or strong sunlight.
“With the Cube Range, we have developed an extraordinary LiDAR which, thanks to its outstanding properties, is particularly suitable for driving at highway speed because it provides reliable environmental images even under these conditions,” says Dr. Mathias Müller, co-founder and CEO of Blickfeld. “Autonomous vehicles are just one application example for our LiDAR sensors. We also see a great demand in other areas, such as security, agriculture and smart city environments. Therefore, we are all the more pleased that the Cube Range has already proven itself successfully in various projects and will be available for purchase in 2019.”