Optimization of Eye-Safe APD Lidar for Automobile Safety and Autonomous Navigation Systems

George M. Williams, Jr., Allegro MicroSystems

Download PDF Version 


Newly emergent accident-reducing driver-assistance and autonomous-navigation technology for automobiles is based on real-time three-dimensional (3-D) mapping and object detection, tracking, and classification using lidar sensors. Yet, the lack of lidar sensors suitable for meeting application requirements appreciably limits practical widespread use of lidar in trucking, public livery, consumer cars, and fleet automobiles. To address this need, a system-engineering perspective to eye-safe lidar-system design for high-level advanced driver-assistance sensor systems and a design trade study including 1.5-micron spot-scanned, line-scanned, and flash-lidar systems are presented. A cost-effective lidar instrument design is then proposed based on high-repetition-rate diode-pumped solid-state lasers and high-gain low-excess-noise InGaAs avalanche-photodiode receivers and sensor arrays. Using probabilistic receiver-operating-characteristic analysis derived from measured component performance, a design is presented for a compact lidar system that is capable of 220-meter ranging with 5 cm accuracy and that can be readily scaled to a 360-degree field of regard.


This document is based on the following published work:

© The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.

George M. Williams “Optimization of eyesafe avalanche photodiode lidar for automobile safety and autonomous navigation systems,” Optical Engineering 56(3), 031224 (28 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.3.031224

Received: 4 August 2016; Accepted: 1 February 2017; Published: 28 March 2017