Optical Engineering • Open AccessOptimization of eyesafe avalanche photodiode lidar for automobile safety and autonomous navigation systems
Newly emerging accident-reducing, driver-assistance, and autonomous-navigation technology for automobiles is based on real-time three-dimensional 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 eyesafe lidar-system design for high-level advanced driver-assistance sensor systems and a design trade study including
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 focal plane arrays. Using probabilistic receiver-operating-characteristic analysis, derived from measured component performance, a compact lidar system is proposed that is capable of 220 m ranging with 5-cm accuracy, which can be readily scaled to a 360-deg field of regard.