Shop > All magazines > ATZ

ATZ worldwide – ATZ - your Topic inside Magazine

Autonomous driving requires precise knowledge of the immediate environment. Lidar (light detection and ranging) technology offers developers an alternative to radar-based systems.

Lidar as a key component of autonomous vehicles


Whether it is for semi-autonomous, highly automated or autonomous driving, the vehicle must have detailed knowledge of its environment. For this reason, many car makers employ lidar (light detection and ranging) systems for precise environmental recognition that are able to detect and recognise objects in front of the vehicle. Instead of emitting radio waves as in radar-based systems, lidar uses ultraviolet, infrared or visible light to detect objects and to optically measure distance and speed. In such laser processes, engineers make use of the fact that laser light moves at a finite speed.


The measuring principle is therefore based on the time difference between the emission of one or more (laser) light pulses and the reception of the reflected light pulse. This "time of flight" of the laser pulse is proportional to the radial distance between the measuring system and the object detected. If the velocity of light (300,000 kilometres/186,000 miles per second) is taken as a fixed quantity, the time of flight to an object can be very precisely determined in the nanosecond range. There are currently two different lidar developments. Mechanical lidar systems use rotating mirrors or a laser source on a rotating system to perform a 360 degree scan of the surroundings. By contrast, solid-state lidars do not require rotating mirrors. This technology allows the laser scanners to be produced much more compactly and cheaply. However, they are not expected to be ready for series production until a few years' time.


Atmospheric interference disturbs the lidar


With the aid of complex evaluation processes, several objects can be detected in one measuring channel (multi-target capability). There must, however, be a minimum distance between these objects. Current systems can resolve the distance within a few centimetres. This accuracy makes this optical measuring process suitable for assistance functions such as parking aids, adaptive cruise control (ACC), turning assistants, blind spot assistants and lane departure warning systems. A disadvantage of lidar technology is that individual light pulses are also reflected by water droplets in the air. As a result, atmospheric attenuation increases in fog or rain and precise measurement of distances is hardly possible any longer.


Nevertheless, advanced systems are able to adapt the sensitivity of the sensors dynamically to the weather conditions and can therefore also measure "soft" atmospheric interference with the reflections behind it (object responses). The different echo signals can be assigned to individual objects by using a special algorithm. In addition to the time of flight measurement, the time curve of the received pulse response is also evaluated. What is more, the light intensity can also be determined via the lidar sensors in order to visually recognise objects (to a limited extent).


Progress in lidar technology


Due to this progress in the development of increasingly improved lidar systems, many electronics developers intend to use light detection and ranging technology as a key component of automated driving. Among others, the following car makers are planning to introduce lidar in the coming years:



Among the leading companies currently developing lidar systems are Ibeo-ZF, Leddartech-Valeo, Quanergy-Delphi and ASC-Continental. Although they are also researching into solid-state lidar systems, the wide-scale availability of this technology on the market is not expected until 2020. Until then, almost all applications of automated driving will use mechanical lidar systems. They are also being used by OEMs as an alternative to camera-based and radar-based functions.

eMagazine Preview: April Issue

World’s leading specialist magazine for the automotive sector!


Read now

Your Benefits:

Most read articles in the last 12 months …

This is an exclusive opportunity to find out about the very latest trends in the global automotive industry free of charge. The editorial team has given you direct access to the five most popular articles and comment columns. Click on the magazine cover to open the PDF file.

Read by over 50,000 managers across 50 countries

Dr. Alexander Heintzel
Editor in Chief

For 118 years, ATZ - Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift has been presenting cutting-edge solution concepts in automotive development and the very latest information for the everyday work of engineers relating to every aspect of the complete vehicle – whether it is the chassis or body, lighting technology or NVH, packaging or thermal management.

High-level articles from practice and research enriched with interviews and reports from our editorial team are perfectly matched to the needs of the target group and the latest topics that concern them.

The technical expertise of the editorial team and their networking skills enable them to quickly pick up current trends and topics on the market and to support an optimum technical orientation. This makes ATZ the ideal technical magazine for technology-oriented management and young engineers in the automotive industry and it is an indispensible medium for the targeted further development of automotive specialists.

Throughout the year one of the world’s most distinguished magazines on automotive engineering focuses traditionally on topics from powertrain, chassis technology or active and passive safety. Also valuable information out of the field of aerodynamics, simulation and testing as well as materials and light weight design play an important part in the magazines topic-list. Recently globally most prevailing matters like Car-to-X-Technology, autonomous driving, Connectivity, HMI or grid integration and E-Mobility are gaining an increasing importance within ATZ.

Dr. Alexander Heintzel
Editor in Chief

Scientific advisory board

The scientific advisory board of ATZworldwide is made up of industry experts who work for leading companies and research institutions. By sharing ideas on a regular basis with the editorial team, the board members help to maintain the high qualitly of the magazine's content. The board provides the editorial team with first-hand information about the latest development trends and offers advice and constructive criticism.

Dipl.-Ing. Dietmar Bichler
Bertrandt AG

Dipl.-Ing. Kurt Blumenröder
IAV GmbH

Dr.-Ing. Joachim Damasky
VDA/FAT

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lutz Eckstein
RWTH Aachen, WKM

Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Eichhorn
Volkswagen AG

Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Eilemann
Mahle Behr GmbH & Co. KG

Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Fröhlich
BMW AG

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Burkhard Göschel
Burkhard Goeschel Consultancy

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer
Schaeffler AG

Dr.-Ing. Markus Heyn
Robert Bosch GmbH

Dr.-Ing. Carsten Intra
MAN Truck & Bus AG

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Pim van der Jagt
Ford-Forschungszentrum Aachen GmbH

Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch
Audi AG

Dipl.-Ing. Ralph Lauxmann
Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG

Dipl.-Ing. (BA) Joachim Mathes
Valeo Schalter und Sensoren GmbH

Dr.-Ing. Harald Naunheimer
ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Dipl.-Ing. Jörg Ohlsen
Edag GmbH & Co. KGaA

Prof. Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Peter Pfeffer
Hochschule München

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rodolfo Schöneburg
VDI-FVT

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. (FH) Wolfgang Schwenk
Adam Opel AG

Dr. Michael Steiner
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Weber
Daimler AG

Dr.-Ing. Christian Wiehen
Wabco GmbH

The latest issue of ATZ.
Available on your computer in only one minute.


Person

I am:

Readers address:

Invoice address (if different from delivery address)

Payment method: Payment by invoice

Total: 199,00
incl. 19% Tax (Germany)

Yes, I order 11 copies of ATZ worldwide and receive my digital monthly copy for current subscription price incl. VAT. Once subscribed I do not take any risk, because the subscription can be cancelled at any time prior to the next attainable issue. If a copy was not delivered, you will be reimbursed. The current special subscription price applies. I have read my right of cancellation and the data protection provisions.

Shop > All magazines > ATZ