RoboSense has provided cold-resistant all-weather LiDAR for what is said to be the world’s first autonomous driving shuttle bus for all weather conditions. Called GACHA, the bus is equipped with RoboSense’s cold-resistant 16-beam mechanical LiDAR environment perception system to operate vehicles in harsh winter and other severe weather conditions. The autonomous shuttle bus was designed in collaboration with Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4, that provided software for positioning, navigation, and obstacle detection, Japanese company MUJI, provided its expertise in design and user experience, and Chinese company RoboSense provided advanced cold resistant LiDAR.
Environment perception is a critical task facing autonomous vehicle providers who require operation in all-weather conditions. Under extreme weather conditions, the performance of critical sensors, such as LiDARs and cameras, are severely impacted. Low temperatures, such as those in Finland, where winter temperatures can reach as low as -30°C (-22°F), can incapacitate the performance of semiconductor components, while snow- and ice-covered roads essentially cripple the image algorithms’ ability to determine abstract environment information.
In addition, on an extremely cold day, the motor of a multi-layered LiDAR might not even start-up, as well as causing detection accuracy and ranging performance to be diminished. RoboSense’s cold-resistant LiDAR sees a 3D world through emitting and receiving lasers pulses, with point cloud algorithms that recognize obstacles, even in snow and ice. Therefore, LiDAR is the most important sensor when it comes to bringing autonomous driving technology to extremely cold environments.
RoboSense will be joining Sensible 4 on its first GACHA bus fleet deployment in April for use on public roads, as well as future projects in various cities in Finland and abroad. For more details, illuminations, and insights, visit RoboSense.