Autonomous Vehicle Lidar: A Tutorial (Paperback)
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The largest high-tech companies and leading automobile manufacturers in the world have unleashed torrents of effort and capital to position themselves for the arrival of autonomous vehicles. What is the fuss about? What is at stake? What are the leading sensor technologies? What is meant by "flash lidar" or "time-of-flight" sensors? With no less than 40 - 50 lidar companies vying to create mainstream automotive sensors, the climate is unique for young scientists and engineers to enter the field. What are the alliances forming between the companies, and how are they shifting? Who are current incumbents in the field? This tutorial text aims to introduce a technical but nonspecialist reader to autonomous vehicle lidar, starting from the fundamental physics of lidar and motivation for its application to autonomous vehicle systems. We will then introduce time of flight design concepts, following the light pathway through the source and transmitter optics to the photodetector. Next two distinct timing methods will be introduced, followed up by a brief discussion of beam steering. After finishing this text, the reader should be prepared to enter into laboratory explorations on the topic.