LiDAR Software - an enabler for expanding ITS solutions

With the global rise of 3D sensor demand, LiDAR has never been so accessible and it’s becoming essential for Intelligent Transportation System applications.

Dec 21, 2022
Anne-Sophie Dubois

Rapidly growing populations in metro regions across the world have created new and pressing difficulties, such as increased road traffic, traffic-related deaths, and higher carbon emissions.

For reference, in 2019, congestion costs were estimated to be around EUR 110 billion a year in Europe (1) and USD 87 billion a year in the US (2). On top of that, car sales are globally rising again after the pandemic, with a growth expectation of 2% on average until 2030 (3).

These factors have highlighted more than ever the urgency and importance of multiplying ITS solutions.

Vehicle and pedestrian flow monitoring have the potential to make our cities smarter and safer by providing insights that allow them to better allocate resources, cut emissions, and reduce accidents.

However, to be impactful, flow monitoring requires precise perception and situational awareness while keeping citizens' privacy.

Here is where LiDAR is to be considered among the most prominent technologies.

Unlike existing 2D-based perception technologies, such as cameras, the 3D data from LiDAR produces highly detailed, accurate spatial measurements (LiDAR sensors achieve centimeter-level accuracy) (4) and works in a range of environments and contexts, such as during the night or in direct sunlight.

Besides, when deployed at scale, LiDAR offers this important nontechnical advantage: no personally identifiable information is ever captured, allowing cities to protect personal information.

In the context of ITS solutions, LiDAR opens up many opportunities including Traffic monitoring, Smart Intersections, detecting VRUs (5), Near-misses events and increasing the overall safety of both vehicles and pedestrians.

However, the adoption of LiDAR in these contexts is limited by its data output complexity, especially when you have to combine many LiDARs in different orientations and positions, sometimes even from different manufacturers.

This is especially pertinent for Smart Traffic solutions, once the task at hand requires real-time processing at the Edge, which is a very different challenge compared to other situations where relatively long post-processing times are acceptable, such as in mapping applications.

To address this problem, there are 3D LiDAR data preprocessors on the market now.

Since it can be used with any LiDAR, the first preprocessor, the Augmented LiDAR Software, which was introduced by Outsight in 2019, has become a very popular LiDAR solution since it works with any LiDAR and delivers a comprehensive set of easy to use features.

The software from Outsight can provide information about the volume, trajectory, and even the classification of objects that have been spotted in addition to converting raw data into actionable data.

What’s a 3D LiDAR Preprocessor?
If LiDAR is such a desirable technology, why isn’t it employed more often? The core issues preventing a wider adoption are solved by Software pre-processing.

One of its most advantageous features from the standpoint of the ITS applications market is that even if an input contains enormous amounts of 3D raw data, when processed at the Edge, alongside the sensors, it becomes Narrow-band data (or necessitates a narrow bandwidth to be transmitted), enabling, for example, low-power wireless communication.

As a recent example, Outsight has provided systems to monitor and manage traffic intersections in some important US city centers with the aim to bring the number of fatal and serious injury collisions in traffic to zero (6).

The next video details the most important steps behind this solution:

Major cities around the world, such as New York City, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Singapore, have already made advanced efforts in ITS solutions, making room for many others to replicate their best practices.

In this scenario, there is no doubt that LiDAR solutions will be used to fasten this implementation thanks to its high precision, versatility, accessible price, and ease of use with the right software.

If you want a consultation with one of our product specialists on how to start your Smart Traffic LiDAR-based application, you can do it by using this contact link.

Our mission at Outsight is to build the easiest and most efficient way to use 3D LiDAR data in any application.

With the use of our real-time preprocessing software, it has never been simpler to develop advanced 3D-based solutions for the maritime industry.

Download our free Whitepaper to learn more about LiDAR solutions for Smart Cities by clicking below:


Sources:

1. ECA, “Urban Mobility in the EU”, April 2019

2. INRIX, “Congestion Costs Each American Nearly 100 hours, $1,400 A Year”, March 2020

3. Mckinsey, “Automotive revolution – perspective towards 2030”, January 2016

4. Source: Vectornav, LiDAR mapping

5. Vulnerable Road Users

6. City of Bellevue, WA - Transports, “Vision Zero”

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