LiDAR, short for “light detection and ranging,” is a widely used remote sensing method that is used to measure the exact distance on the surface of planet Earth. Even though it was first used in the 1960s, it didn’t get popular. It was only during the 1980s that it became popular with the introduction of GPS for calculating accurate geospatial measurements. Moreover, the launch of the 4D LiDAR system for autonomous vehicles has further increased the scope and applications of LiDAR technology across different sectors. This article discusses the importance of LiDAR and 4D LiDAR technology in an autonomous vehicle.
LiDAR- Eyes of Autonomous Vehicles
A rotating device is installed atop the autonomous vehicle or is mounted on the bonnet. This device is LiDAR, which works as an eye for self-driving automobiles. This particular system provides autonomous vehicles with a 360-degree view of their surroundings, making it possible for them to drive safely without manual involvement.
Working of LiDAR
The LiDAR system rotates continuously to send thousands of laser pulses every second, which further collide with the surrounding objects and reflect to create a 3D point cloud. Each laser’s reflect point is recorded by an onboard computer and is translated rapidly to update the point cloud into an animated 3D representation.
Created by measuring the speed of light and the distance covered by light, 3D representation helps to figure out the position of the vehicle with other surrounding objects. It further helps the autonomous vehicle to command the brakes to slow or stop when there is a limited distance between two vehicles. And it allows the automobile to speed up when the road is clear.
4D LiDAR in Autonomous Vehicles
According to experts, the 4D LiDAR system has the potential to upend the growing automated driving industry. 4D LiDAR is a technology that uses light detection and ranging concepts to map surrounding objects in a 3D environment. The reason why it is different from older technologies like LiDAR or 3D LiDAR systems is that 4D LiDAR can also detect instant velocities for each point at distances up to 500 meters.
In addition to this, it can tell how fast a vehicle is moving in all types of weather and environmental conditions. These updated features bring an added dimension to sensing and perception,n leading to safe autonomous driving.
Sensing And Perception Capabilities of 4D LiDAR Technology
The 4D LiDAR system enables the next wave of driver assistance and autonomous vehicle capabilities by using the concept of FMCW technology to deliver sensing and perception capabilities that can’t be even delivered by a time-of-flight 3D LiDAR sensor. Here listed are the extraordinary sensing and perception capabilities of 4D LiDAR sensors:
● Instant Velocity Detection
4d LiDAR sensors mounted on the autonomous vehicle help in directly detecting velocity for each point along with the 3D position. This enables the vehicle to perceive where surrounding objects are and precisely how fast surrounding vehicles are moving.
● Ultra Long-Range Performance
These upgraded sensors can detect and track dynamic objects including oncoming automobiles and other moving objects up to distances of 500 meters.
● Ultra Resolution
A real-time camera-level image of the 4D LiDAR sensors provides up to 20 times the resolution of the legacy time of other LiDAR sensors.
● Detecting Road Hazards
4D LiDAR sensors make it possible to detect small objects on the roadway with much higher confidence at up to two times the distance of legacy time-of-flight LiDAR sensors.
● Semantic Segmentation
Now that 4D LiDAR sensors are equipped with the capability of real-time segmentation between static and dynamic points, it enables autonomous vehicles to detect roadway markings, road barriers, drivable regions, and vegetation.
Integration of LiDAR technology in autonomous vehicles has given an upend to the automated automobile industry. However, the emergence of 4D LiDAR technology has brought an added dimension to the sensing and perception of self-driving vehicles. With the help of 4D LiDAR, people can travel safely and smoothly in autonomous vehicles as they can now avoid collisions by detecting the obstructions ahead. Since the risk of human negligence and rash driving is absent, there will be a lower risk of accidents when traveling in autonomous vehicles equipped with 4D LiDAR sensors. The 4D LiDAR system is also being used in other industrial sectors like robotics, healthcare, electronics, security, and beyond.