How LiDAR Technology Is Transforming the Automotive Industry

LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing technology that measures the distance of an object using light in the form of a pulsed laser. LiDAR was first used in the 1960s and has continued to grow in popularity, spreading to various fields, including the automotive field. Unlike RADAR or cameras, LiDAR is considered to have unparalleled dimension and depth in quickly finding the distance between objects. 4d lidar system provides autonomous cars with a 360-degree view of the environment surrounding the vehicle. Let’s look at how autonomous vehicles perceive their environment and location. LiDAR is a sensor technology that is core to autonomous cars.

Detect and avoid objects

The sensor technologies have onboard computers with the data needed. This helps detect and identify objects like animals, pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. With this data, the vehicle’s computer can measure the object’s speed, location, and trajectories. Autonomous vehicle sensor technology should have high resolution to detect fragments and avoid them. The vehicle’s onboard computer determines the course of action and depends on the information provided by the car’s sensors.

Enables safe and autonomous operations

D LiDAR technology employs performance features like range, resolution, and field of view. These features are needed to help guide autonomous cars through the driving challenges that will be faced on the road.

Below is a review of performance features

  1. Range

An autonomous vehicle should see as far ahead to optimize safety. If on the highway following the speed limit, a minimum range of 250 will allows the car to timely react to changing road surroundings and conditions. Slower, non-highway speeds allow for short-range sensors. Still, the vehicle reaction time should be quick in case of an unexpected event on the roadway. Events include an animal trying to cross the road, an object falling from a truck, a pedestrian-focused on their phone onto the street from between two cars, and debris on the road. In the said situations, onboard sensors need enough range to provide the vehicle with adequate time to detect the object or person, classify it, find out how or whether it is moving, and take the necessary steps to avoid it while ensuring not to hit another vehicle or object.

Another close factor related to the range is reflectivity. Darker-colored objects reflect less light than lighter objects. Most sensors can detect objects with high reflectivity at a more extended range. But fewer can detect low reflectivity objects at a range considered highway safe.

  1. Resolution

High-resolution LiDAR technology is essential for detecting and avoiding collisions with objects at all speeds. A finer resolution allows a sensor to determine objects’ location, size, and shape accurately. It also outperforms high-resolution radar systems by providing the vehicle with the clearest roadway vision.

To help in responding to roadway events, LiDAR provides images of the surroundings with accurate measurements of the distance of objects from the vehicle.

  1. Field of view

It is well known that a 360-degree horizontal field view is the best condition for safe autonomous vehicle operations. A broad horizontal view is essential to navigating the situations that occur in daily driving. Consider this instance of performing a high-speed merge onto a highway. For this maneuver to be successful, it requires a diagonal view behind the autonomous car to see if another vehicle is coming in the adjacent lane. The maneuver also requires a roughly perpendicular view to locate where the vehicle is currently traveling to assess cars from the adjacent lanes and know there is room to merge into the road.

Throughout this process, the vehicle must look forward to negotiating traffic ahead. Because of these reasons, a narrow field of view will be insufficient for the car to execute the merging maneuver.

  1. Free from weather interference

4D LiDAR systems are immune to adverse weather conditions such as scorching sunlight. The technology is also resistant to other LiDAR sensors, ensuring sustained performance across lighting conditions and when the system is used close to other LiDAR-equipped cars.

4d LiDAR sensors are essential in the operations of autonomous cars to move around safely. The LiDAR systems can provide real-time navigation by detecting vehicles, objects, and people who might be a collision risk. Autonomous cars can efficiently and safely navigate an unfamiliar and dynamic environment with optimal safety when equipped with LiDAR technology.