WIMI Announced the Development of ‘HoloPulse LiDAR’, Expanding the Booming Holographic Application Market

Hong Kong – MobiusTrend, the fintech market research organization, recently released a research report “WIMI Announced the Development of ‘HoloPulse LiDAR’, Expanding the Booming Holographic Application Market”. Since the advent of the 5G era, the progress of driverless cars has also accelerated. Among them, lidar technology is particularly important.

With the continuous iterative update of the technology, the intelligentization of automobiles is getting closer and closer to us. “Intelligent Connected Vehicle Technology Roadmap 2.0” proposes that by 2025, partially automated driving (PA) and conditional automated driving (CA), which are equivalent to L2 and L3, will account for more than 50% of car sales, and highly automated driving (HA, equivalent to L4) began to enter the market.

As a “what you see is what you get” sensor, lidar can enhance the redundancy of the sensing system and supplement the scenes where millimeter-wave radar and cameras are missing. It is a standard configuration for high-end autonomous driving. Judging from the current research data in the industry, lidar is becoming increasingly popular.

Unlike camera-based solutions, lidar solutions enable the machine to see 3D images by providing accurate distance measurement of surrounding objects. Lidar solutions use a series of lasers to measure the distance in the environment at the speed of light. In dim light conditions, lidar also performs better than cameras and produces fewer errors. Compared with radar, lidar provides better resolution and can perceive the shape of objects, thereby obtaining better detection and classification. According to a report from the American Automobile Association, current pedestrian detection systems are relatively ineffective in protecting pedestrians and bicycles, especially at night. The lidar system can detect pedestrians well during the day and night, because the lidar system provides self-illumination through the laser beam. These advantages of lidar, coupled with lower computing power requirements, enable the platform to make decisions quickly and accurately to reduce collisions.

What is Lidar

In terms of technical principles, lidar can be divided into four major systems: laser emission, laser reception, beam manipulation, and information processing. The working principle is to use a laser transmitter and beam scanning technology to emit laser light between infrared and visible light. By measuring the time difference and phase difference of the laser signal, the three-dimensional point cloud of the surrounding objects is drawn to obtain accurate distance and contour information.

Lidar was first invented in the 1960s. The first laser in human history was made by American scientist Maiman in 1960. Early lidars were mainly used for space exploration, weather monitoring, terrain surveys, military ranging, and weapon guidance. In 2005, the U.S. DARPA Challenge was carried on autonomous vehicles for the first time. Lidar is currently widely used in fields such as autonomous driving, logistics and transportation, high-precision maps, smart transportation, robotics, industrial automation, drones, as well as surveying and mapping. Among them, surveying and mapping account for 63%.

In 2019, the global market size of lidar is about $1.65 billion. One agency predicts that it is expected to exceed $10 billion by 2025. Besides, it is also expected to reach $24 billion in 2030, corresponding to 36% (2019-2025) and 28% (2019- 2030) CAGR.

Looking to the future, what can promote the expansion of the lidar market is its application in the automotive field. When smart driving became the main battlefield of car companies, the “Vision System” used cameras to achieve high-end autonomous driving with AI algorithms. Tesla’s NOA was quickly introduced to the market and the “Vision System” became the mainstream of the moment. However, the vision solution still has a bottleneck and requires a large amount of data accumulation and processing. Unlike the vision solution, which focuses on analysis, the lidar can directly model objects and road conditions through active detection, which greatly reduces the difficulty of analysis in the vision solution.

According to Bloomberg News, another technology giant, Apple, is in active dialogue with a good number of LiDAR sensor suppliers to realize a key technology in the development of its self-driving Apple Car. LiDAR sensors allow the car’s computer to “see” its surroundings.

Bloomberg states that Apple has been committed to driverless car projects for many years and has developed most of the necessary software, underlying processors, and artificial intelligence algorithms for this complex system. What Apple is looking for is the hardware equipment that matches with it.

According to reports, ongoing discussions indicate that Apple has not yet determined the preferred supplier of LiDAR, and in the development process, Apple may consider multiple options, including highly customized sensors.

As a representative of global AI visual holographic AR companies, as well as the company that Weibo has a strategic investment of more than 60 million dollars, the recent performance of WIMI Hologram Cloud is also eye-catching. Recently, China Mobile and the media cloud platform holographic remote interaction won the bid, and as a technology provider of 5G holographic communication, it was once again selected by operators. In the field of lidar, WIMI seems to be catching up with it. Since the announcement of the patent of the 3D holographic pulse laser processing device for optical holography, many industry application customers have shown strong market demand. Thus, WIMI decided to develop the 3D holographic pulse Lidar product, “WIMI HoloPulse HUD”, to further expand the company’s holographic product portfolio matrix.

WIMI HoloPulse LiDAR is a multi-functional holographic pulse 3D solid-state lidar, the goal is to reach a detection distance of more than 200m and can capture high-resolution 3D holographic images. LiDAR uses MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) micro galvanometer to provide high resolution, long detection range, and wide field of view. Through dynamic control, LiDAR can flexibly adjust the vertical resolution and frame rate, such as allowing the focus area to be dynamically defined. LiDAR uses solid-state silicon detectors, which can reliably detect weak reflections from distant objects and strong reflections from close objects. Digital signal processing is to determine the precise position in the three-dimensional space through filtering, correlation, and statistical analysis. The point cloud generated by the LiDAR sensor can map the sensor environment in 3D. A single point cloud can be composed of tens of thousands of distance points (a single distance measurement), which contains holographic data of 3D original environment information. The software stack extracts a lot of abstract information from the holographic data, transmits commands to the actuator through deep neural network control, and presents 3D holographic data.

The WIMI HoloPulse LiDAR LiDAR solution provides software development kits that match the hardware products, including target detection, classification, and counting functions. Combined with software recognition algorithms, it can provide solutions for many fields, such as autonomous driving, environment perception, 3D holographic imaging, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), traffic management, and 3D printing, which quickly expands the application market of holographic technology.

According to some reports, WIMI focuses on holographic cloud services, mainly in vehicle-mounted AR holographic HUD, 3D holographic pulse LiDAR, head-mounted light field holographic equipment, holographic semiconductor, holographic cloud software, holographic car navigation, and other professional fields, covering multiple links of AR technology, including holographic vehicle-mounted AR technology, 3D holographic pulse LiDAR technology, holographic vision semiconductor technology, holographic software development, holographic AR advertising technology, holographic AR entertainment technology, holographic ARSDK payment, interactive holographic communication, and so on. It is a holographic cloud comprehensive technical solution provider.

Research data shows that in 2025, six million new cars worldwide will be equipped with lidar, and the penetration rate of L3 autonomous driving in passenger cars will reach 6%. According to Sullivan’s estimates, the automotive-grade lidar market will reach $4.61 billion in 2025, with a compound growth rate of 83.7% from 2019 to 2025.

For smart technology, lidar is equivalent to “eyes”. With the rapid development of smart robots, unmanned driving, drones, medical imaging, and the Internet of Things, the lidar market will grow substantially.

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