Light Detection and Ranging, or “lidar,” is helping to lead the new transportation and infrastructure revolution. Lidar is a remote sensing method that uses pulsed light to create a 3D map of the surrounding environment. It is an important component in emerging transportation technologies including smart infrastructure, traffic management, autonomous vehicles, advanced driver assist systems (“ADAS”), unmanned aircraft systems, and many other applications.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 30% of pollution is attributed to transportation. Intelligent Transportation Systems can reduce energy and emissions by up to 15%.
Lidar enables traffic management systems to monitor and manage entities on roads and at intersections, leading to improved traffic efficiency and reduced congestion. Precise timing of lights, traffic signals, and accident notifications can reduce the amount of time vehicles are idling at stop lights and in traffic. Lidar can facilitate volume control through counting road users and enable improvements in roadway planning.
Lidar based traffic management can determine the location, type, speed, and direction of any entity on a roadway or intersection with a high degree of accuracy. Precise tracking of vehicles, pedestrians, wildlife, and other road users through lidar based systems can be used to manage all parts of the roadway, including intersections, work zones, sidewalks, and other high traffic areas.
Delays due to vehicle collisions are commonplace on U.S. roadways. Vehicle safety technology enabled by lidar, such as automatic emergency braking and other ADAS features, can reduce rear-end strike collisions by up to 50%, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Equipping vehicles with lidar based vehicle safety technology can prevent congestion-causing crashes.