Autonomous Vehicle

Baraja unveils Spectrum HD, a LiDAR built to enable Level 4 autonomy at automotive scale and integration

Baraja, creator of the Spectrum-ScanTM LiDAR technology for autonomous vehicles, unveiled Spectrum HD, a LiDAR system ready for Level 4 autonomy at scale. Spectrum HD, available for samples in 2022 and designed for volume production, delivers high-performance sensing at range, with per-point Doppler capability at the hardware level and availability for less than USD$1000 per unit to enable automotive integration.

Spectrum HD marks a generational leap for automotive LiDAR, built on Baraja’s proprietary Spectrum-Scan™ solid-state scanning platform, which was designed from the ground up to completely rethink how cars see the world around them to enable true autonomy. 

The new LiDAR system will enable the range, resolution and performance required for true autonomy, without the traditional trade-offs faced by other legacy LiDAR technologies. Spectrum HD removes blur and speckle, and is immune to interference from other light sources, including other LiDARs. 

Delivering high-performance LiDAR at sub-$1000 unit cost and mass production scale is critical to enabling automotive brands to achieve true Level 4 autonomy in the coming years. Spectrum HD is designed to deliver performance in a package small enough for discreet vehicle integration while meeting the automotive standards and cost targets for high-volume commercial deployment. 

Per-point Doppler enables safer, more accurate autonomy

Spectrum HD delivers the world’s first LiDAR system combining per-point Doppler capability at the hardware level, with a tuneable laser and Random Modulation Continuous Wave (RMCW) ranging method to deliver unparalleled performance and accuracy at range and speed. 

Accurately measuring the velocity of moving objects is critical to helping autonomous vehicles fully understand the world around them. Traditional LiDAR systems typically rely on computationally-intensive frame-to-frame estimations of velocity, requiring tradeoffs in performance, accuracy and timeliness of critical measurements. 

Spectrum HD uses a unique, world-first architecture built from the ground up, becoming the only LiDAR to deliver Doppler capability embedded in the hardware itself, alongside a tunable laser that enables Spectrum-Scan™ solid-state scanning, with RMCW ranging, to deliver high performance, automotive cost and overcome traditional obstacles to autonomous sensing. 

The system uses homodyne detection to measure the distance and velocity of an object within a single frame, at every point in the LiDAR pointcloud. By combining this detection with Spectrum-ScanTM and RMCW, Spectrum HD can quickly and reliably detect objects — from pedestrians to vehicles or animals — at long range and speed to enable safer autonomous driving.

Measuring Doppler per point, at speed, also enables Spectrum HD to detect critical edge cases — such as quickly identifying when something may jump into the lane or when oncoming traffic is approaching — to ensure autonomous vehicles can understand and react to extreme scenarios quickly. By measuring and differentiating objects at speed and long distance, Spectrum HD will enable autonomous vehicles to detect and track small, individual objects such as pedestrians at range, and monitor for sudden changes in movement which require fast reaction from the vehicle.

Spectrum HD ready for true autonomy

Spectrum HD samples will be available in 2022 with design-ins already underway for volume automotive production programs. Baraja is working closely with global automakers and partners including Tier 1 supplier Veoneer to build the manufacturing supply chain and testing facilities required to manufacture and deliver the product to automakers at scale.

“We built Spectrum-ScanTM with a radically different approach to traditional LiDAR systems. With Spectrum HD, that platform will become available to automotive partners, at the scale, cost and performance needed to make true autonomy a reality,” said Federico Collarte, Founder and CEO of Baraja.

“At Baraja, we’ve paired per-point Doppler with our patented Spectrum-Scan™ technology to develop a winning solution LiDAR for automakers who want to enable true Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities without the trade-offs that legacy LiDAR technologies present. We’re proud of how our LiDAR capabilities have developed and we’re on track with a product roadmap and production ramp-up to support Level 4 autonomy with samples available in 2022..”

Baraja recently announced a partnership with Veoneer, a Tier 1 supplier, to commercialize Spectrum-ScanTM for automotive integration. By working with partners like Veoneer, Baraja is testing Spectrum HD in the harshest conditions globally, ensuring the system is as reliable from its first hour through its entire lifecycle.

“We have performed extensive research among 70 LiDAR technology companies globally, and have come to the conclusion that by partnering with Baraja, Veoneer will be able to offer and integrate scalable automotive-grade LiDAR-sensors in future cars, at competitive prices,” said Jan Carlson, Chairman, President and CEO of Veoneer.

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