The rise of automotive technologies
The automotive industry is constantly evolving and growing, and the optical opportunities within this industry are no exception. The applications within this industry use a variety of optics, most commonly within headlights, reverse-camera lenses and dashboard elements. Within the last decade the industry has evolved to include applications with more complex optical designs, such as Head-Up-Displays and LIDAR sensors. These new technologies have increased the demand for precise micro optics from ductile material. By 2035, the Boston Consulting Group predicts that there will be 18 million driverless cars on the road worldwide, with China becoming the largest market for smart cars.
Within the automotive market, companies are faced with addressing several mega-trends including autonomous driving, maximum safety and driving comfort. Sensors are used to enable “autopilot” anonymous driving and optics are essential within these systems. LIDAR sensors are commonly used for these self-driving technologies.
Optical applications within Automotive technologies
LIDAR sensors are used to detect the distance to an object. A laser pulse is used to do so, which is reflected off the object. Time-of-flight is then used to calculate the estimated distance based on the photon return time. There are two types of LIDAR sensors, flash LIDAR and scanning LIDAR. Flash LIDAR is simpler, it incorporates prism optics and micro lenses to direct a single laser source to the object. Scanning LIDAR on the other hand is more complex and uses micro mirrors, focusing lenses and wide-angle lenses. LIDAR sensors are not only used within Autonomous vehicles but also agricultural and robotics applications.
A major bottleneck companies experience currently is the time it takes to receive a prototype after design submission. Because of our unique process we are able to ship quality assured prototypes in 6 days to keep development quick. Prototypes are also able to be scaled to series production
Take a look at this blog post for more information on optics within autonomous vehicles.
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