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Mitsubishi Electric Develops MEMS LiDAR Solution for Autonomous Vehicles

Published: Mar 12,2020

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced today that it has developed a compact light-detection and ranging (LiDAR) solution incorporating a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) that achieves an extra-wide horizontal scanning angle to accurately detect the shapes and distances of objects ahead in autonomous driving systems.

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The new LiDAR solution irradiates objects by laser and uses a dual-axis (horizontal and vertical) MEMS mirror to scan for the reflected light, generating three-dimensional images of vehicles and pedestrians. Mitsubishi Electric expects this compact, low-cost solution to contribute to the realization of safe, secure autonomous driving.

After objects are irradiated by laser, the maximum amount of reflected light must be collected in order to obtain the most precise three-dimensional images, particularly of vehicles and pedestrians. LiDAR systems therefore require mirrors with a large surface area in order to maximize light collection. Additionally, a wide scanning angle is required for accurate vehicle periphery monitoring.

Mitsubishi Electric’s new development incorporates the industry's largest electromagnetic MEMS mirror, measuring 7mm by 5mm, in a lightweight design which is able to scan horizontally and vertically. Despite its size, the unique structure of the MEMS mirror facilitates a reduction in weight without sacrificing rigidity. The lightweight design and high electromagnetically generated driving force allows the mirror to achieve large horizontal movement of ±15 degrees. Vertical movement is currently ±3.4 degrees, and Mitsubishi Electric aims to increase this to ±6.0 degrees or more by improving the beam structure of the MEMS.

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