Self-driving cars, drones, robots and other autonomous systems rely on various sensors for obstacle detection and avoidance to navigate safely through environments. One of the most common methods to sense obstacles is light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), which uses light in the form of a pulsed (or amplitude/frequency modulated CW) laser to measure variable distances. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the surrounding environment and its surface characteristics. While LiDAR is a well established and utilized system within many mobility companies, it’s large size and high cost-per-unit has prevented its implementation in many commercial applications. Solid state LiDARs with non-mechanical scanning elements have received increasing interests. In particular, the optical phased array (OPA) provides non-mechanical scanning in a compact form factor. More importantly, at reduced size OPAs enable sophisticated beamforming such as simultaneous scanning, pointing, and tracking of multiple objects, or even direct line-of-sight communications. Unfortunately, at large-scale OPAs have been found to have slow response times, making their application for commercial use impossible. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have designed an optical phased array with rapid response time. This novel technology utilizes arrays of micromirrors actuated by micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). This novel OPA operates with a larger field of view, with a wide range of laser wavelengths, and without the need for high voltage electronics. It is also far more compact and sophisticated than bulky and intrusive mechanical LIDAR technologies.