Ansys’ Simulation Enables Unique Next-Gen LiDARs

To drive its unique automotive-grade LiDAR sensor and achieve autonomy while reducing development time and costs, Innoviz Technologies has tapped simulation technologies of Ansys, Inc. Ansys helps Innoviz Technologies meet their customers’ objectives for durability, reliability, and affordability in a LiDAR design to seamlessly suit Level 3 to 5 autonomous vehicles.

Moreover, Ansys tools helped Innoviz Technologies reduce product development by two full design cycles over one and a half years, significantly reducing costs

Portfolio Works Seamlessly

Safety on the road has been the primordial objective of automated driving. Meanwhile, autonomous vehicle development requires sophisticated sensing capabilities of various components. This include LiDARs, radars, and cameras.

Consequently, LiDAR delivers the high-resolution, long-range 3D image perception needed to safely guide vehicle movement. The challenge for automotive manufacturers is that available LiDARs are not close to meeting industry standards for performance, size, reliability, and cost perception. Furthermore, packaging these very complex optical sensor technologies tied to numerous systems presents challenges in both their production and operation.

Innoviz Technologies LiDAR 3D point cloud (Photo by Ansys)

The success of the team depended on simulation and testing of various aspects of LiDAR design and optics. Drawing on the power of Ansys multiphysics capabilities, Innoviz relied on Ansys Mechanical, Ansys Fluent, Zemax, and Ansys Maxwell simulation software. Particularly, these software work seamlessly together to successfully address LiDAR system complexity.

Game Changer in LiDAR Development

Extensive simulation and testing accomplished an extreme integration of components into a single chip, requiring minimal design iterations and enabling a more compact LiDAR system. Consequently, this high-performance, reliable LiDAR solution meets the necessary automotive performance characteristics and size requirements manufacturers are looking for at a much lower price point.

“We use many types of simulations in the Ansys ecosystem across the entire design chain of our product,” said Oren Buskila, Chief R&D Officer and Co-Founder at Innoviz. “We rely on Ansys capabilities to run structural analysis to understand the stresses and temperature variations of our chips. We also use Ansys for dynamic simulation to understand vibration characteristics, and thermal simulation to see if we can dissipate the amount of power from the main components inside, like the laser. Ansys provides excellent simulation software, and we value their experience in the automotive space to help us solve our biggest design challenges.”

Shane Emswiler, Senior Vice President of Products at Ansys said the company’s vast simulation and growing multiphysics capabilities support exploration and discovery in advanced autonomous technologies. Furthermore, more complex optical applications like LiDARs require a higher degree of predictive accuracy in their execution.  

“Our tools interface well, both inside and outside our product portfolio, to help our customers quickly move through design cycles with confidence. Simulation software is a game changer in the development of a new generation of more complex LiDAR systems that will accelerate autonomous vehicle adoption,” said Emswiler.