German LiDAR tech startup Blickfeld to unveil new automotive LiDAR sensors at digital CES 2021
It’s almost a year since we wrote German LiDAR tech startup Blickfeld. At the time, the company closed its Series A financing round to ramp up production and qualify its LiDAR sensors for the automotive market. Since then, the team at Blickfeld has been working on a mid-range sensor, called Blickfeld Vision Mini.
Today, Blickfeld said it will unveil its automotive LiDAR products for the first time at digital CES 2021. After commercially launching the industrial LiDAR “Cube 1” in 2020, the Munich-based company is now presenting its automotive LiDAR suite consisting of a mid-range as well as a long-range sensor. Blickfeld is also introducing its MEMS Scanning Module 118 as a product.
The mid-range sensor, called Blickfeld Vision Mini, has very small dimensions that can be customized according to customer requirements. Example dimensions of 5 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm illustrate the 3D LiDAR sensor’s compactness, enabling it to be smartly and efficiently integrated into vehicles. By incorporating it into side mirrors, headlights, rear-view lamps, and the A, B, and C pillars, for example, a 360° surround-view is achieved. With a field of view of up to 107° and a range of up to 150 meters on vehicles, the sensor provides reliable data for automated and autonomous driving in urban traffic. The uniquely flexible product design enables the use of multiple sensors per vehicle at a low price. Thus, Blickfeld enables the surround-view that is crucial for automated urban traffic as well as robotic vehicles.
Founded in 2017 by Dr. Mathias Müller, Dr. sc. Florian Petit, and Rolf Wojtech, Blickfeld provides cutting-edge LiDAR sensors and perception software, enabling countless mobility and IoT applications. Their proprietary solution enables countless scenarios like autonomous transportation, mapping, robotics, and smart cities. Blickfeld has grown to a team of now over 100 people since it was founded three years ago.
Complementing the Vision Mini, Blickfeld is also introducing a long-range LiDAR sensor for automotive applications, the Blickfeld Vision Plus. This sensor is designed for use at the front and rear of the vehicle and covers the detection of small objects at distances of up to 200 meters. Together Vision Mini and Vision Plus enable automation for level 2+ and upward.
Both sensors are based on the patented Blickfeld technology. Consequently, they include the proven features such as a customizable field-of-view, configurable scan pattern, and good signal-to-noise ratio thanks to the coaxial design. The sensors’ low power consumption also contributes to their automotive suitability, as does their robustness and production scalability.
The third product in Blickfeld’s automotive portfolio is the MEMS Scanning Module 118. This laser scanning unit features a particularly large aperture, wide deflection angles, and high optical power. The unit consists of a silicon-based mirror system for 2D or 3D scanning and a corresponding software library for individual control. This makes it suitable for use with different wavelengths (e.g., 905 nm, 1550 nm) and in time-of-flight applications as well as in FMCW-based devices. The scanning module has proven its automotive suitability in internal and external test campaigns based on LV124 (shock, vibration, and temperature).
“Beam deflection in light-based sensing is a challenge for which we have developed a unique solution,” said Terje Noevig, COO and managing director at Blickfeld. “By making our MEMS Scanning Module 118 available as a product, we hope to enable further technology advancements for our customers. Vision Mini and Vision Plus represent our automotive suite for automated driving from Level 2-5, enabling automation of driving functions from slow maneuvers in the city to driving at highway speeds.”