Lidar manufacturer RoboSense announced last week that it has obtained certification from the International Automotive Task Force to supply automotive customers. The company said its production line received the IATF 16949 Letter of Conformity in December, accelerating partnerships with major OEMs and Tier 1 automotive suppliers.
Shenzhen, China-based RoboSense is also known as Suteng Innovation Technology Co. The company said it combines sensors, artificial intelligence algorithms, and integrated circuit chipsets to transform conventional 3D lidar sensors to full data analysis and comprehension systems. RoboSense’s goal is to enable robots and smart vehicles to have perception capability that is superior to that of humans.
IATF 16949 was developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) and submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for approval and publication. IATF’s members include BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motor, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault, Volkswagen, and the vehicle manufacturers’ respective trade associations. IATF 16949 is the most widely used global quality management standard for the automotive industry, and it uses five tools as part of application assessment, said RoboSense.
“IATF16949 requires extremely high production consistency and emphasizes various product reliability metrics,” said Dr. LeiLei Shinohara, co-partner and vice president of RoboSense. “It recognizes the RoboSense design, research and development, and production processes. It also indicates that RoboSense has achieved a new milestone of complete readiness for serial mass production of automotive lidars, including the latest solid-state smart lidar ‘RS-LiDAR-M1.'”
RoboSense officially released RS-LiDAR-M1, its “125-layer equivalent” solid-state lidar, in January 2020. It claimed it was the world’s first MEMS (micro-electromechanical) lidar to obtain IATF 16949 certification for its production line.
RS-LiDAR-M1 followed the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and the Automotive Software Performance Improvement and Capability Determination (A-SPICE) tools for project management and product development. During production, RoboSense fully implemented the IATF 16949 quality management system and ISO 26262 functional safety standards. By combining ISO 16750 test requirement and other automotive-grade reliability specifications with these systems, the accuracy of the RS-LiDAR-M1 product can be verified.
Testing and producing the RoboSense lidar
MEMS mirror is the core component in RS-LiDAR-M1. According to the AEC-Q100 standard, combining the characteristics of MEMS micro-mirror, a total of 10 verification test groups were designed, covering factors such as: temperature, humidity, packaging process, electromagnetic compatibility, mechanical vibration and shock, and aging. The cumulative test time for all test samples has now exceeded 100,000 hours.
Furthermore, the longest-running prototype has been tested for more than 300 days, while the total road test mileage has exceeded 150,000 kilometers with no degradation found in various testing scenarios.
RoboSense tested RS-LiDAR-M1 in Vienna for rain and fog under different light and wind speed conditions. The test results proved that the RS-LiDAR-M1 has met the required standards and that the final mass-produced lidar sensor will adapt to all climate and working conditions.
The company is continuing to optimize its lidar’s performance. In September 2019, RoboSense partnered with leading OEM First Automobile Works (FAW) to include RS-LiDAR-M1 as a core component in FAW’s proprietary next-generation autonomous driving system development.
At CES 2020, RoboSense announced that it was working with advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) provider Freetech on the serial production of the smart multi-sensor fusion offering.