Yandex, the Russian firm specializing in web-associated products and transportation services, is getting into the lidar sensor market. In a post in which the firm revealed that its autonomous vehicles had driven over 1.5 million miles, up from 1 million in October, Yandex explained two custom software-defined lidar sensors it says it has been testing on automobiles in Moscow. Yandex expects that it’ll ultimately use them on its newly introduced delivery robot – Yandex.Rover.
Lidar sensors map the distance to catch objects by illuminating them with laser light and measuring the mirrored pulses. They’re a core part of plenty of driverless vehicle techniques, including those developed by Alphabet’s Waymo, Uber, and GM’s Cruise, and their purposes extend to segments like robotics, trade, security, and agricultural sectors.
Yandex says its software program can harmonize the lidars’ scanning patterns while driving, with varying parameters that allow them to adapt to various driving conditions. The sensors can focus on a particular object to find out whether it’s a pedestrian, bicycle, or something else at a distance of as much as 200 meters, or approximately 656 ft. That’s approximately the same range as lidar senors from Innoviz, TetraVue, and Baraja offer, however, short of Luminar’s 250 meters and Aeva’s 300 meters.
Yandex’s sensors are comparatively cheap. Yandex Dmitry Polishchuk, chief of self-driving cars at the firm, said that when the lidar sensors enter mass production, Yandex will save as much as 75% on the bill of materials.
Two lidar sensors will rollout in the upcoming months — one with a 120-degree view that’s solid-state, which means the entire system is developed on a silicon chip, and a second that offers a 360-degree view of its surroundings.