April 7, 2021

InsightLidar Gesture400x275Insight Lidar, which develops autonomous vehicle technologies, has announced that its Insight 1600 is the first lidar system with the combined high resolution and velocity detection to enable pedestrian gesture recognition. The new capability can be used by autonomous vehicle (AV) perception teams to quickly and accurately predict the actions of pedestrians.

“When humans drive, we’re constantly scanning the environment around us,” said Greg Smolka, vice president of business development at Insight Lidar. “We’re watching for cars moving into our lane and looking at nearby pedestrians to see what they might do. For example, if a pedestrian looks both ways at an intersection, drivers understand that the person intends to cross the street.”

Detecting these subtle pedestrian movements can convey intent, an important safety capability that has eluded AV developers, the company said. “When we initially designed Insight 1600, we expected its ultra-high-resolution and instantaneous low-velocity detection with every pixel to be critical in making vehicle decisions, especially regarding other vehicle movement,” said Chris Wood, vice president at Insight Lidar. “However, we’ve been surprised by all the ways perception teams are using this critical information. From separating close objects and more accurately identifying distant ones to now predicting pedestrian movement, we’re seeing how important this data is to safe AV operation.”

Insights’ systems utilize Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW), advanced lidar sensor technology that uses a low-power continuous wave of light instead of high-power laser pulses to sense its environment. The company said this is much more sensitive than traditional lidar, allowing AVs to see objects much further away. The Insight 1600’s resolution along with the FMCW architecture, can detect enough pixels to enable AV software to identify small, low reflectivity objects at distances exceeding 200 meters, the company said.

“What’s key here is both the quality and the amount of data the Insight 1600 generates,” said Michael Minneman, CEO at Insight Lidar. “More data makes the AI easier, and ultimately, drives safety. As we drive, we’re all used to watching pedestrians to understand their intent. Now, for the first time, lidar can do the same thing.”

For more details on the Insight 1600 and the company, visit the Insight Lidar website. Direct inquiries to the company can be made to contact@insightlidar.com or by calling 303-604-5130.

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