Optical sensors are rapidly becoming standard equipment on many vehicles. Sensors on the outside of the vehicle, such as LIDAR, play a critical role for self-driving cars and driver assisted safety features. Optical sensors on the inside of the vehicle are being used to monitor the driver to determine attentiveness and to interpret gestures.
Automotive requirements dictate that optical systems operate across a very large temperature range and collect as much light as possible. Since the optical properties of traditional lenses vary with temperature, a complex optical assembly is typically required to athermalize the system. Meta-optics have higher thermal stability than conventional optics, thereby simplifying the optical system. In addition, a single meta-optic can replace several glass lenses while improving light collection and reducing noise.