Argo AI claims that the latest LiDAR sensor has a scanning distance of 400m

Ford Argo AI

Jared Wickerham/Argo AI

Argo AI, a self-driving car technology company with Ford and Volkswagen as the backingDeveloped a new LiDAR (optical radar) system with a sensing distance of up to 400 meters, Is expected to greatly improve the performance and safety of its self-driving system. Argo AI believes that this is the current LiDAR sensor with the longest scanning distance.

The main core technology of Argo’s new sensor is the sensing method called “Geiger mode”, which can accurately calculate each individual photon. After matching with wavelengths above 1,400nm, the Argo Self-Driving System (SDS) equipped with a new sensor is claimed to be able to detect low reflections at a greater distance than competing products with higher accuracy. Rate of objects. In addition to enhancing the recognition of the environment at night, it can also react quickly when the brightness changes rapidly (such as entering and exiting tunnels). SDS can also have a better recognition rate for small moving objects (such as small animals on the road), and because the entire system only uses a single sensor, it will be cheaper in cost.

At present, Argo is conducting preliminary tests on a few Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid models, and plans to expand the test fleet to 150 Escape Hybrids by the end of the year, all equipped with the same sensor kit. The first commercial vehicle models to be adopted in the future will undoubtedly be Ford and VW models. Among them, Ford is expected to launch self-driving taxis and self-driving trucks next year, but Volkswagen will probably not launch similar models until 2025.

However, it is difficult to say how long Argo can sit on the throne of sensing distance. The LiDAR system under development by Continental and AEye claims to have a recognition distance of up to 1 km, but mass-produced products may not be available until 2024.