ZVISION, a provider of automotive-grade MEMS LiDAR solutions in China, formally launched its new short-range LiDAR ML-30s+ at CES on January 5, 2023. With an ultra-large FOV, enhanced imaging effects, new automotive-grade hardware and software architecture, customized engineering solutions, the new release is expected to deliver the excellent LiDAR experience for autonomous driving.
Industry — Ultra-large Field of View (FOV)
The ML-30s+ LiDAR has an ultra-large FOV of 140°*70°.
Compared with LiDARs with 120° horizontal FOV, ML-30s + is not only a more streamlined design, but also provides better coverage of the area alongside the rear part of the vehicle side without heading angle adjustment, sensing any object entering the designated area faster and earlier.
The 140° FOV is able to detect a vehicle advancing from behind 1.4m earlier than 120°, which gives the regulation and control system extra 300-700ms to respond. Furthermore, with the same case of 360° blind spot coverage, the blind spot splicing of 140° is twice as small as that of 120°.
About the vertical FOV, the ML-30s+ has an asymmetric design that directs the limited FOV to the most close blind area. The -50° (placed horizontally) of the ML-30s+ is the largest design in the industry, which can effectively detect objects at ground level, such as low safety guardrails, bricks, boulders, stone abutments, safety cones and other road obstacles, as well as accurately identifying lane and parking markings. The actual coverage exceeds that of symmetrical vertical FOV of 90°. In addition, the asymmetric design allows for better coverage no matter the design of the body of the vehicles, so that the unit works well with the vast majority of existing car models.
Ultra-high resolution and consistent ranging capability of full FOV
The angular resolution of 0.44°*0.44° and the frequency of 512,000 points per second (in single echo mode) assure that ML-30s+ meets the requirements for constructing a detailed map of the object. This allows to obtain 20 point clouds from the black-clad pedestrian at a distance of 22 m, and 6 point clouds from the triangular cone barrel at a distance of 25 m.
Furthermore, when compared to other LiDARs on the market that have edge detection capability decay, the ML-30s+ has a consistent ranging capability of full FOV which can help automotive driving systems to make safe strategies.
Good ranging capabilities under severe weather conditions
The ML-30s+ also has good ranging capabilities under severe weather conditions. Through unique algorithm and sensor technologies, the ML-30s+ is not only capable of achieving stable and clear detection in the dark, but is also fearless of direct sunlight, providing reliable 3D sensing capability for autonomous driving under all kinds of working conditions
Extreme safety and reliability: New automotive-grade hardware and software
With a hardware architecture different from others in the market, the ML-30s+ adopts a non-coaxial architecture design. The MEMS mirror module is responsible for the two-dimensional scanning of the transmitting module, while the pure solid-state receiving module is responsible for the gaze reception of large FOV. The two do not interfere with each other. As for device reliability, the MEMS mirror module comes with new proprietary packaging, as well as temperature and humidity resistance and vibration shock resistance at the highest level in the industry. The design life tops 50,000 hours, fully meeting the requirements of passenger vehicles.
ML-30s+ fully meets the functional safety requirements of the typical scenarios of passenger vehicles and Robotaxi by transforming their top and specific functional safety requirements into internal technical safety requirements. And the protection and monitoring mechanism is added to the key chain where errors could occur. The product fully meets the ISO 26262 function safety ASIL B level and the Class I standard requirements for eye safety.
And the ML-30s+ supports the AutoSAR software architecture and standardizes many interfaces with the vehicle, including FOTA, UDS/DOIP, transmission and communication, and more. This significantly reduces secondary development work during the vehicle integration stage and allows for the quickest software adaptation of LiDAR to the vehicle.
In terms of cyber security, based on different application scenarios, ML-30s+ comprehensively improves the network security from the whole logical chain of threat and risk analysis (TARA), security scheme design, testing and production, so as to avoid LiDAR becoming a safety risk within the ADS.
Software features and end-to-end engineering solutions
Compared with the long-range LiDAR, the use scenario of short-range LiDAR is different. The LiDAR closely monitors the area immediately adjacent to the vehicle body, which will inevitably interfere with the surroundings of the vehicles, resulting in abnormal point clouds such as body noise and point cloud adhesion. This affects the correct judgment of the ADS and may result in emergency braking or slower forward progression. As a pioneer in the industry, ZVISION has accumulated years of practice in short-range products. Through specific point removal models and algorithms, ML-30s+ is equipped with special software functions to resolve the issue of point clouds in proximity to the body, and can adapt to different body shapes to meet the requirements of efficient mass integration.
It is not sufficient to only have different software features in order to get simple-to-use LiDAR. For OEMs, it is even more important to have a one-stop solution during the integration phase after delivery, as well as during use and maintenance once on board. ZVISION offers an end-to-end integration solution including multiple radar installation error prevention, off-line calibration, dirty detection and cleaning solutions, hibernation wake-up, window heating. It not only effectively reduces the difficulty of various engineering development before and after the LIDAR “on board,” but also improves the overall vehicle integration efficiency, and lowers related costs.
Two-way micro-arc surface design
For the first time, ML-30s+ adopts the design concept of two-way micro-arc surface. Both the vertical and horizontal dimensions are based on micro-radian modeling. Compared with the previous generation unit, the depth of the optical window is reduced by 60%, while smoothness is increased by 30%, greatly improving the adaptability and aesthetics of the vehicle’s design.
ML-30s + has been comprehensively optimized in terms of geometry, at 120mm (W) × 60mm (H) × 97mm (D), a weight of 750g and power consumption less than 14w. Compared with the previous generation product, both volume and weight have been reduced by 40%, while power consumption has been curtailed by 20%.
ML-30s+ also adopts the assembly method of nested the upper and lower shell, with all internal components fixed on a unique datum structure, and the optical window pre-installed in the outer shell, effectively simplifying the installation process, improving product quality, and greatly lowering the repair cost after the light window is damaged.
ZVISION always believes that short-range detection is important for autonomous driving, and is the first producer in China to complete the whole process of R&D and mass production of short-range LiDAR. In the past three years, the company’s first-generation short-range LiDAR has been widely used by JDL, Inceptio Technology, Mobileye and Deeproute, and has withstood the test in all kinds of road scenarios and harsh environments.
ML-30s+ is the result of the engineering application and practice over the last three years. Therefore, in addition to high performance and high reliability, this product also has full readiness for mass production that no peers in the market can match. It is on track to enter mass production within this year.