Photonic sensing will be developed to enhance automated driving

Posted: 13 August 2018 | | No comments yet

AIT launches new trans-national project with a mission to replace existing solutions with photonic alternatives for automated driving and industrial manufacturing.


The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) has launched a new trans-national research project – ‘LIANDRI: Advancing time-of-flight technology for high performance light detection and ranging’ – to bridge application-driven research on photonic sensing in the fields of automated driving and industrial manufacturing.

LIANDRI’s findings are expected to help cars better recognise and identify distant yet small obstacles along road infrastructure, while robots in factories will be able to more efficiently perform manufacturing tasks that require precise alignment and tooling procedures.

By introducing photonics, sensor systems are progressing in terms of range and resolution. The LIDAR technology will exploit time-of-flight measurements whereby a short light pulse is emitted and the round-trip time of its reflection from a remote target measured. With an electronic beam-steering mechanism, a 3D image of the scene is obtained in a short fraction of time, enhancing reliability and reducing size compared to traditional mechanical scanning approaches.

In the case of automated driving, the ‘digital horizon’ will be enriched through a seamless acquisition of objects over a range exceeding 200m. The high resolution images will enable objects to be identified along the traffic infrastructure and extend the skills of future driver assistance systems, which could contribute to the adoption of autonomous driving.

In terms of application in industrial manufacturing environments, LIDAR will be able to precisely locate objects and tools within a millimetre range due to the high resolution that photonic sensing offers; enhancing the overall efficiency of manufacturing plants.

LIANDRI is a three-year project including four partners from Austria and Germany. It addresses a multi-disciplinary research agenda that targets innovations in photonics, microelectronics and signal processing and is jointly funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and the European Commission within the ERA-NET Co-Fund.

Research partners AIT and University of Siegen will work closely together with innovative industrial partners ams AG and Soft2Tec, which have a long product track record in the field of sensing and 3D camera technology.

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