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Blackmore unveils first doppler lidar on the road

Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc., the developers of the first Doppler lidar for automotive applications, confirmed that its system exceeded expectations in real-world scanning and mapping across the Bay Area’s busy highways and on the congested streets of San Francisco.


A single frame of Blackmore’s raw Doppler lidar data delineates the position and instantaneous motion of pedestrians at a crosswalk, which is critical for perception and path planning.

With backers including BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures, Blackmore’s team has successfully parlayed more than ten years of experience refining frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar with the Department of Defense to address the automotive industry’s rigorous requirements.

Blackmore’s sensor is the only lidar currently available that instantly delivers real-time velocity measurements of every detected point, helping make autonomous driving smarter and safer.

Traditional pulsed lidar systems do not measure motion directly, meaning velocity information is only available after running computationally complex and error-prone analytics algorithms on multiple frames of data. With Blackmore’s instantaneous Doppler-enhanced data, autonomous vehicles perceive the world around them with very high confidence and the low latencies required for safe navigation.

Blackmore's Doppler lidar also eliminates interference from sunlight and other sensors, and improves long-range performance compared with conventional lidar. These features, when combined with velocity measurements, deliver the trifecta required to help make autonomous driving safer, the company said.

Blackmore’s automotive Doppler lidar systems, which are priced competitively with existing pulsed alternatives, are currently with teams at OEMs and suppliers across the industry.


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