The Russian company Yandex has started testing equipment of its own design, created for a proprietary unmanned control system. Among the inventions there is a camera and two types of lidars.
- Lidar in self-driving cars is the main sensor. It scans the space using laser beams that bounce off objects and form a three-dimensional image around the car with centimeter precision. It is also the most expensive component in autopilot, and many firms try to build systems without using it.
Yandex engineers have developed two types of lidars. The first has a 360-degree view and collects information about objects around. Such a lidar has a complex optical-mechanical system, consisting of many lasers with different wavelengths. A feature of such a leader is non-stop rotation for “feeling” the space around the machine.
- Yandex's second device is a solid-state lidar with a viewing angle of 120 degrees. It uses a stationary laser with a movable reflector. It is designed to obtain detailed data about objects in the direction of movement. Lidars are capable of focusing on individual objects and, at a distance of 200 meters, recognize a pedestrian on the road or a cyclist.
- Lidars developed by Yandex, unlike third-party devices, allow you to access "raw" data, which the company analyzes on its own and adjusts the system more accurately. In addition, the new lidars are half the price of their analogs, and in the long term the savings when using their equipment for Yandex will amount to up to 75 percent.
However, lidars are still unable to read road signs and distinguish colors, which creates problems at intersections. Therefore, they must function in conjunction with other devices. For example, with a camera developed by Yandex specifically for drones. She sees brightly lit and shaded objects equally well in the same frame, and also quickly adapts to sudden changes in lighting.
- As the developers of unmanned vehicles told the Auto.ru Magazine, one drone with a 360-degree lidar and two cars equipped with solid-state lidars of their own design are currently being tested. In total, Yandex tests 100 vehicles with a proprietary autopilot system on ordinary roads.