Forward-Looking Lidar Can Revolutionize Driver-Assistance Systems

Part I of this multipart series cast a spotlight on vehicle crashes, a majority of which are forward-facing and result from driver error. Automakers are striving to develop advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to prevent these crashes, yet significant room for improvement still exists. Part II of the series explores current ADAS strategies and how adding one cost-effective directional lidar sensor would contribute to the prevention of forward-facing crashes.

Automakers have invested heavily in developing advanced driver-assistance technologies to make driving more comfortable and safe. The most advanced of these systems are already offered as vehicle features that satisfy Level 2 automated driving as defined by SAE International in SAE J 3016-2018 Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles and incorporate capabilities, such as Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). These features can intervene in certain driving scenarios to control the vehicle’s movement; yet, to ensure safe operation, the driver must remain attentive and focused on the driving environment.

To date, these L2 systems have been designed around camera and radar technology. However, automakers can greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of driver-assist features by employing a system in which lidar is a key perception component. Lidar technology is inherently superior to camera and radar in certain performance aspects that are crucial for avoiding forward collisions and which support a move within the industry to implementing lidar as a crucial sensor for ADAS applications.

Dr. David Heeren is the Senior Technical Product Marketing Manager at Velodyne Lidar Inc. , Dr. Mircea Gradu is the Senior Vice President of Validation and Chief Quality Officer at Velodyne Lidar Inc.