Ouster recently released an article on their blog, covering the potential of solid-state lidar in the future automotive market. They conclude that hybrid or spinning lidar technology is only a temporary solution to a quickly adapting market. Solid-state lidar is the single long-term solution that meets the automotive industry's high demands.
Automakers set a range of requirements for lidar sensors to be integrated into a vehicle that can be sold to a mass market. Among these criteria, affordability, manufacturability, reliability, and performance are the most important ones. To Ouster, it is clear that only true solid-state lidar can meet the expectations of automakers in the long term.
What is solid-state lidar?
Whereas analog spinning lidar includes a physically moving sensor, solid-state lidar has no moving parts at all, making it more robust and reliable while minimizing wear over time. However, some companies advertise their lidar as being solid-state, when in fact, they are not. Although the sensor has a fixed position, the laser beam is still being reflected by a physically moving mirror. By contrast, Ouster's automotive lidar, which will be ready for serial production by around 2025, is truly solid-state.