Yandex, a Russian internet service firm, announced that it has begun testing its own Light Identification Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) laser technology and cameras. The new devices will be used for the company’s recently revealed delivery robot, the Yandex.Rover.
According to the company, its software can tune the LIDAR’s scanning patterns while driving, with changeable parameters that enable them to adapt to various driving conditions like dense city streets, freeways, and severe weather. The sensors are also able to focus on a specific object in order to determine whether it is a pedestrian, bicycle, or something else at a distance of up to 200 meters (or roughly 656 feet).
Dmitry Polishchuk, head of self-driving cars at Yandex said that when the lidar sensors enter mass production, the company will save up to 75 percent on the bill of materials.
Polishchuk added: “Third-party LIDARs analyse and filter data as soon as it’s collected. Using our LIDARs, we receive more information about the vehicle’s surroundings since we can access the sensors’ raw data.
“With our LIDARs, we can analyse the raw data and synchronise it with information from other sensors so that the car can better identify objects. In addition, our current prototypes are already half the cost of existing devices.”
Yandex will be launching two lidar sensors in the coming months. One of them will be having a 120-degree view that is solid-state which means that the entire system is built on a silicon chip, while the second sensor will offer a 360-degree view of its surroundings.
The company will also be launching a custom high dynamic range camera that is able to detect objects in low as well as bright lighting simultaneously and has the ability to quickly adapt to sudden changes in lighting. For example, while entering a tunnel or leaving a parking garage.