Facet Technology Smart Vehicle Sensor Program
Facet Technology has leveraged the last 15 years of experience in driving 1.5 million miles of roads with leading-edge commercial LiDAR and cameras, 2 generations of Facet-built industrial sensor systems and the processing of petabytes of LIDAR and camera data. We are applying it to the problems presented in vehicles with autopilot and full autonomous driving. We are partnering with our customers to solve their new technical challenges of today and tomorrow. Vehicle vision systems requirements for auto pilot and autonomous vehicles present a discontinuity in the evolution of sensor technology. Here is our story.
The Future of Autonomous Vehicle Visions Sensors (2017- 2020)
Fully autonomous vehicle control is one of the hardest problems we have ever tried to solve. Vehicle vision systems provide most of the critical information needed for the Vehicle Control Systems VCS to make real time decisions. Unfortunately the prevailing sensor systems approach is to add more sensor types, increase their quantity and increase their data rates all creating exponential increasing workloads for VCS. This is the classic big data problem of variety, velocity and volume delivered to a real time decision processing system where time is of the essence. One forecast of autonomous vehicle sensors predicts Level 4 Automation will require 9 types of sensors with an average of 29 sensors per vehicle and Level 5 Automation will need 32 sensors per vehicle.
What the industry needs is:
- A single unified vision sensor that combines the capabilities of cameras, LiDAR, radar, IR and ultrasonic into a single sensor type and data feed to the VCS.
- Safe accurate vision in adverse weather and unlit conditions. Stranded passengers or grounded mobility fleets will be unacceptable caused by inclement weather conditions.
- Intelligent sensors that offload as much post processing as possible from the VCS.
- Adaptive ranging capabilities to attune to real-time conditions such as road type, traffic conditions and weather.
We believe 2017 will usher in the first of these systems. This kind of a vision system will simplify the vehicle, the VCS system, increase speed of decisions, simplify programming of the VCS and improve HD map creation and crowd sourced updating. Vehicles will be able to operating safely in virtually all adverse conditions.
Facet Smart LiDAR Sensor (2016-2017)
June 7th, 2016 Facet Technology Corp. announces the next milestone in its SMART vehicle sensor program. Facet Technology was issued U.S. Patent No. 9,360,554 METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR OBJECT DETECTION AND IDENTIFICATION IN A MULTIPLE DETECTOR LIDAR ARRAY.
Facet’s Smart LiDAR will enable safer and smarter ADAS, and auto pilot vehicles. Facet’s LiDAR sensors will provide the capabilities needed for Level 3, 4 & 5 Vehicle Automation.
Facet’s solid state LiDAR architecture initial release will deliver 5 million points/ second with the next generation release targeting 35 million points/ second.
Facet’s LiDAR off loads billions of operations per second from the vehicle control system (VCS). The LiDAR systems will provide preprocessed data to the VCS including:
- object vectors
- localization vectors
- edge detection
- corner detection
- object segmentation
- Point cloud data is also supplied. Preprocessing LiDAR data will be needed as vehicle LiDAR data goes from the typical 700,000 points/second to the targeted 35 million+ points/second in the next generation sensor. VCS’s will need all the help we can provide as the data rates and the criticality of real time decisions grow exponentially with fully autonomous applications.
Facet’s second generation developed LED illuminated industrial vehicle camera sensor system. Developed for automated road and sign inventory, assessments and automated map creation.
Used for 200+ meter projects. Specifications 76,000 lumens with a Pmax of 1150 watts and a 2% duty cycle.
Used for Department of Transportation projects across North America.
Facet’s first generation developed LED illuminated industrial vehicle camera sensor system. Developed for automated road and sign inventory, assessments and automated map creation.
Used for 200+ meter projects. Specifications 18,000 lumens with a Pmax of 400 watts and a 6% duty cycle.
Used for Department of Transportation projects across North America. Also used for the first generation road mapping for vehicle navigation systems (routing engines).
Facet’s patents are applicable to a broader range of applications than are discussed herein. There are also other patents in Facet’s portfolio that apply to Smart Sensors. facet-tech.com/patent-marking/