Baraja Unveils Spectrum HD, a World-First LiDAR Built to Enable Level 4 Autonomy at Automotive Scale and Integration

Baraja to demonstrate per-point Doppler, a major leap for autonomous LiDAR systems, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2022

Detroit, 16 November 2021 Baraja, creator of the breakthrough Spectrum-Scan LiDAR technology for autonomous vehicles, today unveiled Spectrum HD, a world-first LiDAR system ready for Level 4 autonomy at scale. Spectrum HD, available for samples in 2022 and designed for volume production, delivers high-performance sensing at range, with per-point Doppler capability at the hardware level and availability for less than USD$1000 per unit to enable automotive integration.

Spectrum HD marks a generational leap for automotive LiDAR, built on Baraja’s proprietary Spectrum-Scan™ solid-state scanning platform, which was designed from the ground up to completely rethink how cars see the world around them to enable true autonomy.

The new LiDAR system will enable the range, resolution and performance required for true autonomy, without the traditional trade-offs faced by other legacy LiDAR technologies. Spectrum HD removes blur and speckle, and is immune to interference from other light sources, including other LiDARs.

Delivering high-performance LiDAR at sub-$1000 unit cost and mass production scale is critical to enabling automotive brands to achieve true Level 4 autonomy in the coming years. Spectrum HD is designed to deliver performance in a package small enough for discreet vehicle integration while meeting the automotive standards and cost targets for high-volume commercial deployment.

Baraja — Federico Collarte and Cibby Pulikkaseril

Per-point Doppler enables safer, more accurate autonomy
Spectrum HD delivers the world’s first LiDAR system combining per-point Doppler capability at the hardware level, with a tuneable laser and Random Modulation Continuous Wave (RMCW) ranging method to deliver unparalleled performance and accuracy at range and speed.

Accurately measuring the velocity of moving objects is critical to helping autonomous vehicles fully understand the world around them. Traditional LiDAR systems typically rely on computationally-intensive frame-to-frame estimations of velocity, requiring tradeoffs in performance, accuracy and timeliness of critical measurements.

Spectrum HD uses a unique, world-first architecture built from the ground up, becoming the only LiDAR to deliver Doppler capability embedded in the hardware itself, alongside a tunable laser that enables Spectrum-Scan™ solid-state scanning, with RMCW ranging, to deliver high performance, automotive cost and overcome traditional obstacles to autonomous sensing.

The system uses homodyne detection to measure the distance and velocity of an object within a single frame, at every point in the LiDAR pointcloud. By combining this detection with Spectrum-Scan and RMCW, Spectrum HD can quickly and reliably detect objects — from pedestrians to vehicles or animals — at long range and speed to enable safer autonomous driving.

Measuring Doppler per point, at speed, also enables Spectrum HD to detect critical edge cases — such as quickly identifying when something may jump into the lane or when oncoming traffic is approaching — to ensure autonomous vehicles can understand and react to extreme scenarios quickly. By measuring and differentiating objects at speed and long distance, Spectrum HD will enable autonomous vehicles to detect and track small, individual objects such as pedestrians at range, and monitor for sudden changes in movement which require fast reaction from the vehicle.

Spectrum HD ready for true autonomy
Spectrum HD samples will be available in 2022 with design-ins already underway for volume automotive production programs. Baraja is working closely with global automakers and partners including Tier 1 supplier Veoneer to build the manufacturing supply chain and testing facilities required to manufacture and deliver the product to automakers at scale.

“We built Spectrum-Scan with a radically different approach to traditional LiDAR systems. With Spectrum HD, that platform will become available to automotive partners, at the scale, cost and performance needed to make true autonomy a reality,” said Federico Collarte, Founder and CEO of Baraja.

“At Baraja, we’ve paired per-point Doppler with our patented Spectrum-Scan™ technology to develop a winning solution LiDAR for automakers who want to enable true Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities without the trade-offs that legacy LiDAR technologies present. We’re proud of how our LiDAR capabilities have developed and we’re on track with a product roadmap and production ramp-up to support Level 4 autonomy with samples available in 2022..”

Baraja recently announced a partnership with Veoneer, a Tier 1 supplier, to commercialise Spectrum-Scan for automotive integration. By working with partners like Veoneer, Baraja is testing Spectrum HD in the harshest conditions globally, ensuring the system is as reliable from its first hour through its entire lifecycle.

“We have performed extensive research among 70 LiDAR technology companies globally, and have come to the conclusion that by partnering with Baraja, Veoneer will be able to offer and integrate scalable automotive-grade LiDAR-sensors in future cars, at competitive prices,” said Jan Carlson, Chairman, President and CEO of Veoneer.

Baraja will demonstrate per-point Doppler capabilities at the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 in Las Vegas — sign up for more.

Spectrum HD specifications

Highlights

  • On-chip fast axis beam steering, transmitter and receiver
  • Industry-leading range and resolution
  • Per-point Doppler velocity measurements
  • True interference immunity, from both ambient light, other lidars, and other Baraja sensors
  • Built according to ISO26262/ISO16750 for automotive integration, reliability and functional safety
  • Foveation – detect and focus on objects in the field of view by dynamically changing point density on the fly.
  • High resolution detections at long range superior to industry standard of .05x.05(deg)

Optical Performance

Range to 10% reflective Lambertian target, >90% detection probability) 250m +
Minimum Range 0.01m
Vertical Angular Resolution 0.0125 (deg)
Horizontal Angular Resolution 0.04 (deg)
Field of View 120h x25v (deg)
Frame Rate 4-30Hz
Number of Returns 2+

Laser

Laser Product Class Class 1 as per IEC 60825-1:2014
Laser Wavelength 1550nm central (c-band)
Beam Divergence 0.015° (FWHM)

Mechanical/Electrical

Power Consumption <20W
Dimensions (H,W,D) 50mmx50mmx120mm

Operational

Operating Temperature -40°C to +105°C

Specifications correct at time of publication. Baraja reserves the right to make changes, corrections, enhancements, modifications, and improvements at any time.

About Baraja
Baraja is building the future of LiDAR to enable the autonomous future. With its revolutionary Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR technology, Baraja gives leading automotive companies a solid-state system in the fast axis that sets a new benchmark in precision and reliability. Baraja was founded in 2016 by telecommunications engineers Federico Collarte and Cibby Pulikkaseril, who discovered a way to use the industry’s proven photonics technology to solve the problems faced by legacy LiDAR. Baraja is backed by Sequoia, Blackbird Ventures, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Main Sequence.

About Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR
Baraja’s revolutionary Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR completely rethinks the way autonomous vehicles see the world around them. Built on proven optical and photonics technologies from the telecommunications industry, Spectrum-Scan™ precisely steers infrared lasers through prism-like optics in the sensor, rapidly switching the laser’s wavelength to send each color of light in a different direction — the same way optic fiber technology works. The resulting pointclouds are extremely high-resolution and immune to interference from other light sources and LiDAR systems. Baraja Spectrum-Scan™ operates on the 1550 nm infrared spectrum, making it safe for human eyes, and creates crystal-clear pointclouds with a high-resolution 2000-channel vertical axis and responsive focus to effectively detect objects at ranges of more 250 metres.