New sensing capabilities for autonomous cars are emerging with advancements in LiDAR sensors.
FREMONT, CA: The development of autonomous vehicles is now peaking. Several classes of sensors have played integral roles in making self-driving cars feasible. Among them, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors, which enable cars to detect pedestrians, vehicles, and other obstructions, have been the most significant. With LiDAR technology continuously evolving, new prospects of further advancing the capability of autonomous vehicles are now emerging. In the process, factors like affordability and reliability are also expected to be effectively addressed. Three such LiDAR advancements that carry promises for optimizing autonomous vehicles are discussed below.
• Intelligent and Integrated Systems
Many technology companies are now building integrated sensor portfolios that will combine LiDAR, RADAR, and cameras. Such a combined system will enable autonomous cars to have high degrees of accuracy in both long and short-range visibility. The introduction of AI capabilities into these systems is also about to add to the effectiveness of the sensing by helping identify and classify objects so as to convey alerts and trigger maneuvers. Besides, the integration, along with production scaling, is expected to make the sensors more affordable in the upcoming months.
• More Data Points for Visibility in the Dark
LiDAR scanning capabilities are improving with technologies enabling the consideration of more data points in determining objects. The inclusion of more elements in the scans can add to autonomous vehicles' capabilities of sensing accurately on dark stretches of roads. The initial limitations of operating in the dark are, therefore, poised to give way to effective visibility that will allow autonomous cars to effectively measure metrics and enable rapid decision-making.
• Improved Velocity Sensing
LiDAR solutions designed for accurate velocity measurements are today being developed. Integrating these into the body of the vehicle or the windshield will enable autonomous cars to determine directional information with high resolution from a distance. This will create longer braking periods for self-driving cars, resulting in improved safety.
Enhancements in LiDAR translate directly into significantly improved autonomous vehicles. As automobile manufacturers incorporate the evolved LiDAR sensors into new car models, self-driving will reach the next level of advancement.
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