Traditional laser radar products are difficult to get rid of high-cost constraints in the short term, so that the price advantage is more obvious solid-state blue laser pointer radar and millimeter-wave radar, not only can complement each other in performance, but also can greatly reduce the use of cost, so perhaps For the unmanned development to provide a new choice. Last week, Tesla announced that all current production models (including the upcoming Model 3) will be equipped with Autopilot 2.0 hardware, and that the new autopilot system will be able to achieve the highest level of autopilot (Level 5). The hardware, in addition to eight cameras and 12 new ultrasonic sensors, a forward detection radar caused the attention of magnesium off Ke. The study, Tesla used on the detection radar for millimeter-wave radar, rather than other mainstream unmanned research and development used in the laser mine. Then the question arises: whether the millimeter-wave radar can do the job of lidar, become a kind of unmanned driving more low-cost solution?

Unmanned technology Want to really on the road, the most critical technical difficulty lies in how the car can understand the reality of complex traffic conditions, so you must use the radar device. At this stage the mainstream of unmanned research and development technology, have chosen the lidar, and has always been "do not take the unusual road" Musk choose to use millimeter-wave radar. So, what is the difference between the two types of radar technology?

Laser radar is mainly through the emission of burning laser pointer beam, to detect the target position, speed and other characteristics of the volume. Vehicle laser radar commonly used multiple laser emitters and receivers, the establishment of three-dimensional point cloud, in order to achieve real-time environmental awareness purposes. From the current vehicle laser radar point of view, the mechanical multi-beam laser radar is the mainstream program. The advantage of LIDAR is its wider detection range and higher detection accuracy. However, the shortcomings of laser radar is also very clear: rain and snow in extreme weather conditions such as poor performance; the amount of data collected is too large; very expensive. At present, Baidu and Google unmanned vehicle body 64-bit laser radar, the price of up to 70 million yuan. The more the laser transmitter harness, the more cloud points collected per second, and the better detection performance. However, the more wire harnesses represent the cost of laser radar is more expensive, 64 beam laser radar price is 10 times the 16 beam.

As an indispensable type of ADAS core sensors, millimeter-wave radar from the last century has been used in high-end cars, the technology is relatively mature. The millimeter wave is between the centimeter wave and the light wave, so the millimeter wave combines the advantages of microwave guidance and photoelectricity guidance, and its leader has the characteristics of small volume, light weight and high spatial resolution. In addition, the millimeter wave guide penetrate the fog, smoke, dust ability, compared to 20000mw laser pointer radar is a big advantage. The shortcomings of millimeter-wave radar is also very intuitive, the detection range by the loss of the direct control band (you want to detect far, you must use high-frequency radar), can not sense pedestrians, and all the surrounding obstacles can not be accurate modeling . Benefit from the technology is relatively mature, millimeter-wave radar in the unit price, can only be regarded as a laser radar hair, monomer prices around 100 US dollars. And on-board millimeter-wave radar market demand is relatively more, bring the economies of scale is expected to further reduce the cost.

At the present stage of unmanned field, the main sensors used for sensing the surrounding environment are laser radar, millimeter-wave radar and vision sensor. As the carrier of vision sensor, the camera has become one of the core hardware of the unmanned vehicle, and it can be said to be indispensable, and the radar equipment can play a specific role in specific occasions. In addition to the previously mentioned Baidu and Google, Ford and Audi also choose the traditional depot such as laser radar, rather than Tesla selected millimeter-wave radar. It is noteworthy that the choice of traditional depot laser radar hybrid type is a solid-state lidar. Compared with the traditional 360-degree mechanical rotating laser radar, the solid-state 3000mw laser pointer radar uses electronic components based on data read and write program, remove the mechanical rotating parts. As a result, the cost can be drastically reduced to around $ 200, and in the case of guaranteed performance, reduced volume can be integrated into the appearance of traditional cars.

So what kind of hybrid solid-state radar structure? Although the rotation mechanism of the conventional lidar is not visible from the outside, there are actually some mechanical rotating parts inside the 360 ​​for the whole viewing angle. But this mechanical rotating parts do very small and hidden in the fuselage only. Therefore, in order to distinguish it from the solid-state lidar, a hybrid solid-state lidar is named. At present, the laser lidar start-up company Velodyne, and the German Ibeo laser radar company has a related hybrid solid-state laser radar products. For the time being, Velodyne's hybrid solid-state lidar still sells for $ 7,999, but Ford says it will sell for about $ 500 after mass production. However, solid-state 100mw laser pointer radar still can not solve the extreme climate, can not display the performance of the drawbacks. So, all-weather work will be combined with millimeter-wave radar, it will certainly greatly enhance the detection performance of unmanned vehicles, the way you can get rid of traditional laser radar, such as the whole family barrels, standing in the roof and affect the appearance.

Most of the core technologies of LIDAR are also in the hands of foreign companies, such as Silicon Valley startup Velodyne, Ibeo of Germany, and Quanergy, which developed the world's first solid-state lidar. China is currently doing laser radar business also has 10 or so, but most of the application areas of air pollution detection and three-dimensional mapping, focusing on the car laser radar research and development of the few, mainly escort industry, radium intelligence and thinking Lan technology Three. Due to limited technical strength, in the field of unmanned 50mw laser pointer radar companies generally lack the right to speak, which also makes the domestic unmanned application development and industrial ecology faces many challenges. While the millimeter-wave radar is to benefit from the rapid development of ADAS, although the previous foreign parts giant in the millimeter-wave radar core technology back-end control system does not let go, but the domestic R & D enterprises in recent years has successfully broken core technology, Products are just around the corner. At present, the domain of China's domestic automotive domain to represent the part of the enterprise in the 24Ghz radar research and development have been more accumulated, the product is coming. The Beijing Xingyi Road developed 77GHz millimeter-wave radar, has been successfully equipped with Beiqi unmanned vehicles.

Thus, the traditional 30mw laser pointer radar products are also difficult to get rid of high-cost short-term constraints, so that the price advantage is more obvious solid-state laser radar and millimeter-wave radar, not only can complement each other in performance, but also can greatly reduce the use of cost, so that One may offer a new option for unmanned development.