Apr 16, 2020

Zemax and Ansys Collaborate to Enable Safer, Reliable Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

Category: Product News

Optical sensors – including LiDAR, radar, visible and IR cameras – play a key role in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and are critical to pushing autonomous vehicles (AV) robustly and safely towards full level 5 autonomy.  Engineers responsible for designing these sensors need to ensure that they will operate in various environments that an AV will be subject to; to do so, engineers need to be able to quickly and accurately test, validate and iterate their optical designs.

Zemax and Ansys are partnering in a new strategic collaboration to  optimize the testing and validation of optical sensors and their integration within AV and ADAS via the Ansys SPEOS Lens System Importer.  Optical engineers can now certify their designs faster and with greater accuracy — optimizing the optical sensor’s effectiveness in dark or hazardous environment conditions and minimizing time to market.
Traditionally, the workflows required to conduct system-level testing of the optical sensors in an AV are complex and have gotten slowed down by siloed data and concerns regarding intellectual property (IP) vulnerabilities. These challenges delay time to market, increase budgets and hinder collaboration between suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

This new end-to-end solution for sensor testing and validation leverages the component-level design, modeling and simulation capabilities of Zemax’s OpticStudio® with the modeling, simulation, analysis and visualization benefits of SPEOS to streamline workflows and protect IP.

S. Subbiah, CEO of Zemax, said, “Optical technology is driving autonomous vehicle innovation by providing the all-round visibility that enables the car to react to its environment. But the successful development of these sensors is increasingly competitive as costs continue to rise and timelines shrink. Our collaboration with Ansys bridges the gap between optical and mechanical engineers as they explore sensor designs.”

New importer streamlines the workflows of optical designs

The SPEOS Lens System Importer can bring any optical sensor design from Zemax’s industry-leading optical design software, OpticStudio, into SPEOS simulation software. Additionally, the system can be transferred as a black box, so IP is protected without limiting the simulation analysis.

How the Ansys SPEOS lens system importer works with Zemax’s OpticStudio®

“Combining Ansys’ simulation portfolio with Zemax’s optical design tools will save automotive customers valuable time and resources,” said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager at Ansys. “As we move towards a future of autonomous vehicles, drivers will benefit from efficient cameras that can identify hazards at night or in adverse weather conditions. This technology collaboration represents an important step forward for the industry.”

The SPEOS Lens System importer workflow reduces sensor perception simulation time from hours to minutes while also protecting lens supplier IP throughout the workflow. 

Konrad Rothenhäusler, design for Six Sigma Coach, ADAS business unit at Continental, said, “The end-to-end optical testing solution from Ansys and Zemax enables us to exchange optical transfer functions – which determines the quality of the projected image – while protecting our sensitive design data. This workflow will empower our team to explore new camera designs faster, cheaper and with less risk.”

To learn more please contact the Zemax team or read “Focus Your optical Design and Validation Workflows” on Ansys Blog