DURHAM – Sense Photonics is entering the autonomous vehicle market with a new device designed to help robotic vehicle and driver assistance systems – and it’s using the global Consumer Electronics Show as the launching pad.
Called Osprey, the devices will cost $3,200.
Launched in 2016, the company utilizes technology known as LiDAR (which stands for light detection and ranging) and 3D sensor technology.
Rather than using complex scanning solutions to create an image pixel-by-pixel, this approach captures the entire frame at once, similar to a camera.
Called “Flash LiDAR,” it delivers high performance 3D sensing that is “simple, modular, scalable and reliable,” the firm has said.
Already, Sense holds intellectual property protected by some 200 patents. It also recently released an industrial scanner.
The products come after Sense closed on $26 million in new funding.
“Near-field sensing has been a major challenge for the automotive industry, especially in the development of autonomous driving,” said Sense Photonics CEO Scott Burroughs. “We designed Osprey to address key customer concerns, including affordability, reliability, and performance. Customers have been especially excited about our ability to eliminate all of the blind spots around the self-driving vehicle all the way down to the curb with unprecedented resolution.”
Sense says that Osprey represents a “major automotive milestone, ushering in a new era of fully solid-state depth sensing.”
The device offers a field of view that reaches 75 degrees, as wide view and technology that Osprey features a 75-degree vertical field of view that provides “high-resolution object detection from the street curb to the horizon.”
Sense says it already has “automotive partners” to test and further develop the system. The partners were not identified.
They incluide an “nannounced Tier 1 automotive supplier, multiple automotive OEMs and major self-driving programs.”
Sense also is working with semiconductor chip maker Infineon.
The company also has secured a “major manufacturing services provider” for the Osprey.
The CEO said Sense believes the Osprey is scalable for manufacturing due to in part “simple, cameralike architecture.”
“By eliminating mechanical-scanning mechanisms, we’ve made Osprey much more manufacturable than other approaches,” Burroughs said. We believe this is critical to bringing the vision of autonomous driving to life.”