Yesterday, Feb 7, 2023, RoboSense proudly announced their partnership with Toyota to be their LiDAR supplier for several models. RoboSense is China's most prominent LiDAR manufacturer/developer by volume, and Toyota is the world's best-selling car maker. Therefore it seems a perfect fit for the two giant dogs to team up!

     Toyota will use M-Series sensors to enhance their vehicles' forward-looking perception capabilities and ensure the safest driver assistance features. The M-Series sensors combined with RoboSense's in-house Perception Software are functionally capable of fully autonomous driving. However, the only barriers remaining are perfecting self-driving software(How the vehicle reacts to what it sees), government regulation, V2X(Vehicle-to-Everything) communication transponders and an infrastructure network, and of course, the trust of fellow drivers. Most people ignorantly distrust autonomous vehicles, despite AVs being far safer than any human driver for the past several years. This barrier will be the hardest to break through, but with the rapid integration of Level 2 ADAS systems on most new cars, autonomous features have become mainstream and well-known, leading to more trust in the machines.

     Additionally, LiDAR is the missing piece of the puzzle for AVs. The accidents we've seen from the first "Self-Driving" test vehicles, like early Teslas, resulted from No. 1, driver error/negligence, and No. 2: Not having LiDAR. Cameras have difficulty perceiving objects truthfully, requiring heavy processing to infer where objects may be. LiDAR, on the other hand, directly provides truthful points in space accurate to 1-2 centimeters, at the rate of over 1 million of these points per second, a "point cloud." This image-like cloud of points provides perfect data to the computers to easily position and identify objects. Even if the computer does not recognize an object as a car, pedestrian, or barrier, for example, it will still perceive that there is a physical obstacle there. It will tell the driving software there is an obstacle even if it doesn't know what it is, as the LiDAR returns the size and shape of the entire environment in its field of view.

Demonstration of Point-Cloud and Perception Software "Attention Object"

     LiDAR also does not rely on ambient light or IR illumination, as it emits its laser pulses and receives their returns all by itself at an eye-safe frequency of 905nm. The sun, other lights, LiDAR, RADAR, etc., do not interfere with the sensor. Because of this independent function, LiDAR is the most essential and highest-performance sensor type available for cars. The RoboSense M-Series sensors have the best performance per cost and the most extensive list of clients using their LiDAR. I am excited to see RoboSense LiDAR on my favorite vehicles on the road: Toyotas.