Ouster Introduces Digital Flash (DF) Series Lidar for Automotive

A revolutionary decade

We currently find ourselves in the midst of a revolution in the automotive industry. The advent of affordable electric vehicles alongside the introduction of automated driving technologies has drastically improved the modern driving experience, but there is still a long way to go. Today’s automated driving systems, based solely on radar and/or camera, are incapable of navigating our roads safely in rain or shine, day or night. In order for automakers to deliver on promises of truly safe, efficient, and affordable driver assistance and automated driving features, automotive technology needs to evolve. Today’s leading OEMs and Tier1s have realized that a key enabler of this evolution is high-performance, reliable, and affordable lidar. 

The competitive race to produce automotive lidar has focused on meeting a few key performance specs for a narrow set of use cases, particularly long-range perception for highway driving. Out of the dozens of new lidar companies over the past five years, none have been able to provide a comprehensive lidar solution that delivers the performance and flexibility required to enable all L2 to L5 applications, from automated highway driving to driverless valet parking. Until now.

A multi-sensor lidar suite enables comprehensive safety for any driving scenario
A multi-sensor lidar suite enables comprehensive safety for any driving scenario

The holy grail of lidar

Today, Ouster Automotive announced the digital flash (DF) series solid-state digital lidar suite: a flexible and scalable high-performance digital lidar platform for the automotive industry. 

The Ouster Automotive DF series solid-state digital lidar suite
The Ouster Automotive DF series solid-state digital lidar suite

The DF series is a suite of short, mid, and long-range solid-state digital lidar sensors that provide uniform 3D imaging, without motion blur, across the entire field of view. With absolutely no moving parts, the DF series is built for best-in-class reliability, durability, and affordability, and is designed to meet automaker requirements for ADAS and automated driving, while seamlessly integrating into the vehicle architecture and design.  The Ouster Automotive solid-state digital flash lidar architecture achieves all the performance targets of long, mid, and short-range use cases while delivering the manufacturability required for OEM volume production. 

Here are some of the core capabilities of the DF series platform:

  • Stunning 3D Data: The patented breakthrough solid-state digital flash architecture produces incredible high-resolution 3D point clouds up to 200 meters away for 10% reflective targets in full sunlight with no motion blur.
  • Flexibility: The multi-sensor suite is a flexible platform that can be easily adapted to different form-factors and sensor configurations to provide varying ranges, fields of view, and vehicle design freedoms – all with a simple change in optics or housing.
    • DF0: Short-range sensor designed for vehicle cocoon coverage, traffic jam assist, and self-parking applications.
    • DF1: Mid-range sensor enabling wide-angle coverage for L4 and L5 autonomous vehicle applications and for detecting cut-ins and overhangs for L3+ automation.
    • DF2: Long-range sensor for forward-facing L2 to L3 automated highway driving and safe collision avoidance.
  • Scalability: With no moving parts, the solid-state suite is highly manufacturable and offers the durability, reliability, and affordability needed for automotive series production.
DF high-resolution point cloud of low reflectivity target at 200m

The DF series multi-sensor suite will be available for high-volume automotive programs with a start of production in 2025 and is currently being sampled to OEM and Tier1 partners. Ouster Automotive is uniquely positioned as an ideal partner for both automotive OEMs and Tier1s. With the digital flash platform, Ouster Automotive serves as a single supplier for an entire vehicle, reducing the overall cost and complexity of the program. 

“The DF series combines the best of Ouster’s previous solid-state roadmap with the core technology of its recently acquired solid-state platform to deliver a multi-sensor product suite that provides even greater performance and affordability,” said Ouster Automotive President, Shauna McIntyre. “The vast majority of automotive OEMs we are in negotiations with are looking for a suite of lidar sensors, and as a one-stop-shop, we believe Ouster is the only company poised to meet those requirements.”

The road ahead with Ouster Automotive

Ouster Automotive’s DF series is the catalyst needed to push the automotive revolution forward through the rest of this decade and beyond. Ouster Automotive is the automaker’s one-stop-shop for high-performance 3D lidar with zero moving parts, backed by proven manufacturing capabilities. The future is digital and the road ahead is bright with Ouster Automotive. 

To learn more about Ouster Automotive and the DF solid-state lidar suite, please reach out to our team.