LiDAR: The Key to Unlocking the Potential of Autonomous Vehicles

Share this post:
Posted On:
September 03, 2019

If you’ve been to Silicon Valley, Chicago, Phoenix, or any other city that is leading the way in autonomous vehicles recently you’ve probably wondered: What’s that device spinning on the roof? That would be the most important piece of hardware in the battle for control of the autonomous vehicle market, LiDAR. Whether spinning on the roof or integrated into the headlights and/or mirrors, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) works by firing off millions of laser beams every second to measure how long it takes to reflect off nearby objects including other vehicles, lane markers, pedestrians, and street signs. The data is then used to create a new 3-D map every second that the vehicle uses to navigate. 

Just a few of the automotive manufacturers investing in LiDAR:

  • Google
  • Toyota
  • BMW
  • Land Rover
  • GM

Industries have realized that mastering LiDAR is essential to the commercial success of autonomous vehicles, wasting no time prototyping and testing the device they hope will change the automotive industry forever. With Google using three systems, Uber seven, Ford four; all require a significant amount of cabling to link the millions of algorithms being translated and sent to the processor. It will be imperative that these cables are able to withstand anything the road can throw at them including slews of potholes, extreme temperatures and weather, and typical wear and tear from years of driving. Luckily, NWI's Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have built products that are made to handle:

Continuous motion and repetitive flex
Severe vibration and interference
Water, oil, and chemical resistance
Fatigue and wear resistance
Crush, abrasion, and cut resistance
Temperature extremes from -60°C to 300°C

To prepare for the future demands of the automotive industry, Northwire has been working with customers on a highly individualized basis, ensuring that each solution produced by NWI exactly fits your unique requirements. Since NWI is a strategic partner with LEMO, a global leader in connector manufacturing, they can design, test, and manufacture top of the line custom cable assemblies for existing technologies or innovative new plans such as LiDAR. In fact, Northwire developed a business unit dedicated to the transportation industry doing market analysis to better understand LiDAR company needs and to help develop both solutions and new performance standards specific to this new technology. So, whether you’re looking to completely change the automotive industry or just bring new creative ideas to fruition to your business, it’s always good to remember that Northwire provides services that include needs identification, research and development, rapid prototyping and 3-D printing, custom cable design and development, and comprehensive testing in a CSA qualified facility. 

If you would like to partner with Northwire in defining connectivity needs and developing solutions for the autonomous vehicle market, please use this link to reach out to Guillermo Villasenor and Jeff Lewison on our Transportation Business Unit. Chat with Guillermo and Jeff in person by visiting the Northwire Table (30) at the Automotive LiDAR conference in Detroit, Michigan September 25-26, 2019.

To learn more about connectivity in the autonomous vehicle market, click here.

Other Industries That Northwire Has Experience Creating Custom Cabling For
Click here or give us a call to request a quote