Advancements of sensors, communication and artificial intelligence are about to bring a revolutionary changes in mobility and transportation by autonomous driving. Scanning mirrors based on Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technologies are one of the promising solutions for various automotive applications, e.g. photonic sensing such as lidars and human machine interfaces such as augmented reality head -up display (AR HUD) and smart headlights. Small form factor, high scanning performance and scalable low unit cost by mass production are raised as main advantages of the MEMS scanning solution for automotive applications. As a drawback, MEMS mirrors are prone to harsh operating conditions such as vibrations, shocks, and temperature variations, requiring highly robust system design with controls to guarantee their full device performance at any situation. However, it is challenging for analysis and control design since MEMS mirrors are highly nonlinear devices.
The AUTOScan project aims for automotive grade MEMS scanning systems for robust sensing and imaging in harsh automotive environmental conditions, enabling reliable MEMS lidars and AR HUDs. The research topics are categorized four aspects. First, precision metrology and automotive test setups for MEMS mirrors are developed to evaluate their performance under severe automotive conditions. Second, modeling and analysis of MEMS mirrors are investigated to understand its nonlinear dynamics. Third, sensing, actuation, and control concepts of MEMS scanning mirrors are studied for robust scanning motion in harsh environmental conditions. Last, test setups of lidars and AR display for automotive use are built to verify the performance in the final application level.