Subaru Corporation recently finished another round of testing in a new Subaru Crosstrek, equipped with LiDAR technology from InnovizOne.
Subaru has been ordering InnovizOne LiDAR (the tech used in the BMW 7 Series this year) since 2020 to test and develop an advanced version of its EyeSight driver assist technology. The EyeSight system is now used in five million vehicles worldwide sold to consumers.
The new Wide-angle Mono Camera is used by Subaru’s next-generation EyeSight safety system, which will be available in the new 2024 Subaru Outback when it debuts this autumn. The midsize SUV also employs the vision-based ADAS technology (Advanced Driver Assistance System), which uses four stereo cameras on each of its four corners to view the road in front of it. Nonetheless, Subaru wants to make the system better.
The Subaru Crosstrek automated test car includes InnovizOne LiDAR, which adds an additional level of sensor redundancy required for safety and confidence in greater levels of automated driving. Eight cameras are used.
During the HARMONIA DRIVE event (September 29th to October 1st, 2022) held in the Odaiba area of Tokyo, the Crosstrek was equipped with eight cameras. In addition, the test vehicle used an InnovizOne LiDAR and completed real-world safety demonstrations at the SIP Automated Driving Demonstration Project exhibition and test drive event in Tokyo. Subaru also presented simulation test results at the event.
The Crosstrek automated test vehicle is outfitted with additional cameras and an InnovizOne LiDAR sensor integrated into the roofline. While the multi-camera system captures the vehicle’s surroundings, including traffic signal color recognition, InnovizOne adds critical sensor redundancy to ensure driver and pedestrian safety and confidence in higher levels of automated driving.
InnovizOne LiDAR complements Subaru’s camera-based EyeSight system by detecting all obstacles in low-light and adverse weather conditions, such as rain and fog.
Innoviz CEO Omer Keilaf said, “While Subaru’s advanced driver assist system has been camera-heavy to date, it’s great to see that they’ve been continuously exploring how LiDAR can advance the performance of the EyeSight system. LiDAR is a critical technology for redundancy in automated driving systems. It can be relied upon to perform when cameras fail, including identifying pedestrians in low-light conditions. In collaboration with our valued distribution partner NEXTY Electronics, we’re excited to provide Subaru with our automotive-grade LiDAR sensor as they continue building their EyeSight system.”
The ability of the new LiDAR system to recognise the traffic light colours is crucial for autonomous driving. Also, the Crosstrek will be equipped with eight cameras to provide a full 360-degree picture of the vehicle.
Yu Hasegawa of the Subaru Technical Research Institute said, “When it becomes a situation where EyeSight cannot be captured, driving is returned to the driver. For Subaru, sensing is still based on the camera.”
Koichi Abe, involved in ADAS development at the Subaru Technical Headquarters, said, “From the results of this demonstration experiment, Subaru was able to perform sufficient sensing without relying on LiDAR with cameras.” Therefore, it is an extension of EyeSight. From this experimental vehicle, I felt like I had a glimpse of such a future image of EyeSight.”
The current EyeSight system uses a wide-angle camera to detect pedestrians and bicycles when turning at intersections. But the target is mainly in the front of the vehicle.
The ability of the new LiDAR system to recognise the hue of traffic signals is crucial for autonomous driving. Also, the Crosstrek will be equipped with eight cameras to provide a full 360-degree picture of the vehicle.
Subaru’s existing EyeSight system, which will be used in the future all-wheel-drive Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, and other models starting in 2023, has already won the more difficult IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick accolades.
The Subaru vehicles equipped with this innovative technology will improve pedestrian, bicycle, and passenger safety by using LiDAR. Subaru’s ongoing study could lead to LiDAR becoming the ADAS safety standard by 2025 and beyond.
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