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Image: Businesswire

AEye has announced a new real-time data type said to enable its artificial perception systems to see ‘more like humans’. Dynamic Vixels can now be deployed to enhance the Californian company’s iDAR (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) system: these combine pixels from 2D cameras with voxels from its Agile 3D LiDAR sensors to give a single super-resolution sensor data type. They can also be encrypted to guard against cyberattack.

AEye claims iDAR can identify objects with minimal structures such as bicycles, differentiate objects of the same colour, and detect contextual changes – giving the example of determining a child’s facial direction, to calculate the probability of them stepping out into the street. Dynamic Vixels also pick up on weather changes, increasing in power during rain, fog or snow.

A biomimicry approach to visual perception is taken, aiming to replicate how the human visual cortex evaluates a scene and calculates potential hazards. The integrated content uses an existing library of 2D computer vision algorithms as well as capturing 3D and 4D data – location, intensity plus factors such as the velocity of objects. The artificial perception system assesses the scene and dynamically controls and optimizes the data at the point of acquisition; it uses AI embedded within a distributed architecture to critically and actively assess the general surroundings for situational awareness, while tracking targets and objects of interest.

Luis Dussan, founder and CEO of AEye, explained in a statement: “There is an ongoing argument about whether camera-based vision systems or LiDAR-based sensors systems are better. Our answer is that both are required – they complement each other and provide a more complete sensor array for artificial perception systems.

“We know from experience that when you fuse a camera and LiDAR mechanically at the sensor, the integration delivers data faster, more efficiently and more accurately than trying to register and align pixels and voxels in post-processing.” Dussan adds that “one nice consequence that comes out of the architecture is we give our customers the ability to add the equivalent of ‘human reflexes’ to their sensor stack.”

AEye’s AE100 artificial perception system, its first iDAR-based product, is launched this summer.

-Farah Alkhalisi