Flexibility, Scalability, and Rich Data: Sense Photonics Launches Platform for Mass Production Lidar, Announces Development Deal With Major OEM

Flash lidar point cloud of an oncoming car on a curved road
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2021 – Sense Photonics, the leading global flash Lidar solutions provider, unveiled the world’s first flexible, scalable, high-performance automotive Lidar platform to enable widespread ADAS and AV system adoption for any vehicle. Driven by its patented and proprietary VCSEL laser emitter and SPAD receiver technologies, Sense’s platform delivers the richest data point clouds at the highest points per second (PPS) of any automotive Lidar system.

Sense’s camera-like design illuminates the entire scene and utilizes global shutter acquisition to capture all data points in a frame within the field-of-view simultaneously. This allows vehicles and other objects to be imaged without any motion distortion or data gaps. The Sense platform can provide more than 10 million PPS to enable unmatched 3D vision, compared to 2 million PPS found in legacy scanning Lidar systems. This increase in 3D data density has significant implications for ADAS and AV applications, as it provides vehicles with the information density to classify and act on data 3-5 times faster than other systems. 

FOV diagram for Sense flash lidar

“From a safety standpoint, motion blur and reaction time are critical issues when a vehicle is traveling at highway speeds,” said Sense Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Scott Burroughs. “An autonomous system requires precise depth data in real-time to be aware of the vehicle’s surroundings, particularly in dynamic environments. Data gaps found in legacy scanning systems increase the likelihood to miss small objects, parking lot gates, or even road debris. Only a true solid-state flash Lidar can provide uniform high-resolution information across the entire field-of-view without motion blur or data gaps — which is exactly what we’ve developed.”

Sense Photonics also announced a development program with a major Detroit-based automotive OEM, demonstrating the automotive industry’s enthusiasm for this platform.

 “As our focus shifts from technology development to commercialization and production, this development agreement is a clear sign that Sense’s flexible architecture and world-class performance are the right solution for mass market automotive OEMs,” said Shauna McIntyre, Sense CEO. “I am extremely proud of our team’s ability to bring Sense’s flash Lidar technology to market so quickly, as we moved from concept to automotive prototype in record time.”  

The versatile design of the Sense Platform creates a new level of flexibility in Lidar that will significantly simplify and reduce costs for automotive manufacturers. With a simple change in optics, the same platform that delivers long-range, forward-facing data can be used to create a wider field of view for short- or mid-range sensors, providing a full 3D view of a vehicle’s environment. This flexibility allows Sense to quickly tailor solutions for any automotive customer’s unique needs with significantly less development and validation time.

The Sense Platform - Machine Vision Lidars for ADAS & AV


“As we set out to design this platform, our team realized that mass adoption of Lidar will only be realized at price points considerably less than today’s Lidar systems,” said McIntyre. “We built a scalable platform using our 100 percent solid-state SPAD and VCSEL components, similar to the Lidar found in the latest Apple iPhone. These proven components deliver not just scalability and cost-efficiency, but the durability and reliability needed for automotive production.”

Sense’s unique solid-state design also gives their platform modularity and flexibility to adapt to various form-factors — allowing automakers to integrate these solutions seamlessly with the vehicle’s styling in mind.  Sense’s emitter and receiver are housed in a unibody design but do not need to be co-located, and are small enough to be installed inside headlamps or behind the windshield.

Sense LR Exploded View - 100% Solid State Flash Lidar Design


“Bulky, bolt-on sensors will never be a part of Sense’s product offerings,” said McIntyre. “We want to make sure our customers’ vehicles stay true to the designs their customers know and love.”

In addition to today’s announcement, Sense is also in final discussions on programs with a number of other major North American and European OEMs and AV providers, as well as leading global Tier-1 automotive suppliers.

About Sense Photonics

Sense Photonics offers high-performance, scalable Lidar systems to enable mass-market automotive industry adoption. Its core flash technology is protected by nearly 300 patents and applications and enables a simple, high-performance, solid-state solution with no moving parts. Sense Photonics has offices in San Francisco, Research Triangle Park, Detroit, Edinburgh, and Jerusalem. It is backed by leading VC firms and strategic investors and has developed partnerships with leading automotive and robotics customers.

Media Contact
Ann Marie Fortunate
586.214.1731
[email protected]

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