Livox, a subsidiary of DJI, demonstrated a better automotive lidar LIDAR solution at CES 2020. Typically, lidar scans horizontal lines. In fact, its resolution is measured by the density of a linear scan. The problem is that low-resolution lidar can have a clear gap between these lines, creating blind spots. However, Livox scans a spiral pattern of flowers. Over time, the coverage of the helix increases, and in a short period of time it can effectively scan the entire area. The only moving part is a prism that directs a first-stage laser into the interior.
The company has previously announced both Horizon and Tele-15 products, and at CES 2020, it is ready to reveal all its details and prices. Both are designed with applications such as self-driving and semi-autonomous cars, robotics, 3D mapping and smart cities. Horizon has a detection range of up to 260 meters (853 feet) and a horizontal field of view of 81.7 degrees. In the case of self-driving cars, this means covering four lanes at a distance of 33 feet. Its FOV coverage is comparable to conventional 64-line mechanical lidar in a 0.1-second integration time. At the same time, the Tele-15 has expanded its range: it can see distances of up to 500 meters (1,640 feet). It has a circular field of view of 15 degrees and can scan 99.8% of the area in 0.1 seconds. Livox claims that this is not just a 128-litre mechanical lidar. Livox has found an automatic way to calibrate sensors and use photoelectric designs instead of using more expensive laser transmitters and MEMS scanners. The result is a more cost-effective production line: five Livox Horizon devices, for example, can perform 360-degree scanning of self-driving cars at a cost of only 5% of the cost of the liDAR of a conventional machine. They can also operate over a wide temperature range and do not require high-altitude installation on the vehicle. Livox has already started production of both sensors and announced partnerships with Repre AI and AutoX at CES 2020. Horizon costs $999 and Tele-15 is $1,499. The former will go on sale on January 7 and the latter in the second quarter of 2020.