Levels of Driving Automation – There’s a Standard

image of autonomous vehicle with levels of drving automation

There are Standard Levels of Driving Automation

With all of the news about autonomous vehicles coming from CES 2020 this week I thought it would be of value to re-publish this article on standards for driving automation.

Unlike many technical markets, such as the lidar and 3D laser scanning  industry there is good news when it comes to a standard for describing levels of driving automation. The consumer markets have learned that developing and agreeing on standards, especially in emerging industries will benefit all parties and lead to increased productivity.

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3D Coordinate Systems for Lidar Sensor Explained

Time to brush up on some calculus. Thomas Paul explains the basics of 3D coordinate systems in a Hackernoon blog post so that everyone can understand how it works.

“When a laser pulse is emitted, its time-of-shooting and direction are registered. The laser pulse travels through the air until it hits an obstacle which reflects some of the energy. The time-of-acquisition and power received are registered by the sensor after receiving the portion of energy. The spherical coordinates of the obstacle are calculated using time-of-acquisition which is returned by the sensor along with power received(as reflectance) after each scan.

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Lidar Alternative Produces 10 Million Points Per Second

Image of Lidar Alternative from Terranet

Lidar Alternative from Terranet

Terranet’s lidar alternative claims to process camera – collected scene data in 1 millisecond versus 100’s of milliseconds for lidar sensors.

At this week’s International CES 2020, Terranet will demonstrate VoxelFlow – a 3D motion perception technology capable of detecting and classifying objects far more accurately and exponentially faster than Lidar. Terranet’s demo is timely considering Tesla CEO Elon Musk shocked the press just last April with his remarks: “Lidar is a fool’s errand. Anyone relying on Lidar is doomed. Doomed!” In a bold move, Swedish-headquartered Terranet plans on backing up Musk’s claims that Lidar is merely a dangerous shortcut to image recognition – a perilous reliance if that’s what the promised fully autonomous cars of the future will continue to use.

Invented by Dirk Smits, VoxelFlow was built upon the understanding that today’s camera-based computer vision and artificial intelligence navigation systems are simply too slow and subject to fundamental speed limits of perception using a frame based approach. Lidar has limited resolution and slow scanning rates, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between, for example, a fixed lamppost and a running child. Continue reading

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Tier 1 Automotive Supplier Has Developed a Lidar Sensor

photo of Audi Tier 1 Bosch Announces Lidar Sensor

Tier 1 Bosch Announces Lidar Sensor

Auto-parts maker Bosch is getting into the lidar business, the company said in a Thursday announcement. That’s significant because Bosch is a “tier 1” supplier—one of the few companies with the scale and infrastructure to supply parts directly to global car makers.

From an article in Ars Technica byTimothy B. Lee.

Little is known about Bosch’s lidar. Bosch says the technology has been developed in-house and boasts a long range and a wide field of view. But the company declined to provide Ars Technica with hard numbers on range, field of view, cost, or other characteristics. That makes comparing Bosch’s lidar to the competition a challenge.

But what Bosch’s announcement does make clear is that lidar is about to shift from an experimental technology to an increasingly common feature on new cars. The fact that companies like Bosch are selling lidar means it will be feasible for major automakers to start offering lidar as an option. Continue reading

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Remote Identification Rule Proposed by FAA

image of drone Remote Identification Rule Proposed

Remote Identification Rule Proposed

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a proposed rule for remote identification. That would continue the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones, into the nation’s airspace by requiring them to be identifiable remotely.

From an article by Colin Fluxman in Sun News.

Besides recreational use, drones are hugely popular in the building industry due to the fact that they provide an aerial view of a site at a comparatively smaller amount of the cost of the construction.

This means they can be used to develop plans, track progress and monitor any issues throughout the construction process. Continue reading

Posted in Admin, airborne LiDAR, Drones, Lidar, Orgs, Safety, The Industry, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rain on Lidar Sensors – What is the effect on Performance?

This paper looks at the influence of rain on a lidar sensor using a mathematical model to predict the degradation of the performance.

graphic Rain on Lidar Sensor Fusion - Analog Devices Inc.

Rain on Lidar Sensor Fusion – Analog Devices Inc.

Among the many challenges involved in the development of safe, reliable advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), sensing and perception in adverse weather remains one of the most difficult problems.

In fact, a recent article in Bloomberg magazine entitled “Self-Driving Cars Can Handle Neither Rain nor Sleet nor Snow” claimed that “The ultimate hurdle to the next phase of driver-less technology might not come from algorithms and artificial intelligence—it might be fog and rain [1]”.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, atmospheric, Autonomous vehicles, computer vision, Data, Environmental, Hardware, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mobile LiDAR, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cassandra Quintal – Younger Geospatial Professional

As the new year dawns I want to call everyone’s attention to the importance of supporting Younger Geospatial Professionals, like Cassandra Quintal. They are the future of our profession and all of us need to work together to encourage and mentor this group.

One to the ways we can do that is with the Spotlight Interview. If you would like to be interviewed or would like to recommend someone please click here.

We will be announcing the Younger Geospatial Professional of the Year Award contest in conjunction with SPAR 2020. The following was originally published in September 2018.

This is the first of an ongoing series of  interviews entitled “Spotlight on Young Geospatial Professionals.” If you would like to share your story or recommend someone please contact editor@lidarnews.com. Congratulations to Cassandra Quintal for being the first Younger Geospatial Professional Spotlight interview.

Photo of Cassandra Quintal

Cassandra Quintal

It is a pleasure to introduce Cassandra Quintal, the president of the Maine Young Surveyors Group (MYS) and the recipient of the FIG Foundation grant to represent Young Surveyors at the NSPS/ FIG Young Surveyors North American Meeting in Washington, DC.

My career path didn’t lead me directly into surveying, I took the roundabout way in landing my dream job. But stepping ahead, I started surveying in May 2014 for Sebago Technics Inc. I have the opportunity to work outside at the most beautiful properties in Maine and inside, hopefully on the bad weather days, on GIS and CAD Draft.  Surveying is hard work that requires a “Jack of all trades” kind of attitude but the technology is advancing into a new realm. My education in GIS helps me to understand the spatial relationship between on-the-ground surveying and the digital world. Building respect in the surveying industry takes time, experience and networking but this career becomes a passion.

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Prediction – The 2020’s Will be the Lidar Decade

Logo for New Year - Prediction - The 20's Will BE the Lidar Decade

Prediction – The 20’s Will Be the Lidar Decade

I am putting my reputation on the line with this prediction – the 2020’s will be the Lidar Decade in that the consumer will become as familiar with the term and make use of it in daily conversation as they do with GPS.

There are certainly going to be technologies competing for this title, such as 5G (and more), AR/VR, drones, AI, IoT (or IBE, Internet of the Built Environment) and most importantly autonomous vehicles. It’s the latter that will in fact drive the awareness of lidar in exactly the same way that the automotive sector drove every soccer mom to say, “I’ll just GPS it.” Not knowing of course what G, P and S stand for. Continue reading

Posted in airborne LiDAR, artificial intelligence, Augmented reality, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, computer vision, Consumer, Deep Learning, Digital Transformation, GPS, Internet of Things, Lidar, machine learning, Radar, Technology, The Industry, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Oil Spill Survey, First – of – its – Kind with Drone

Map of Oil Spill Mapped with Drone

Oil Spill Mapped with Drone

On February 5, 2019, a cyclone shoved a bulk carrier into the edge of a reef on Rennell Island, cracking its hull. The fuel oil spill that resulted made international news, as it happened along the world’s largest raised coral atoll and just northwest of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Scientists consider this area—northwest of Australia—a haven for research given its untouched nature and rare inhabitant species.

Strategic Natural Resource Consultants, based in British Columbia, were called to send experts to assess the spill, including Mike Morellato, a drone specialist with experience in Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT). After supporting spills in Canada with traditional methods, he took the WingtraOne on a long journey to this, the company’s first, international spill response. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Environmental, Historic Preservation, Inspection, Laser Scanning, Mapping, Photogrammetry, remote sensing, Safety, Surveying, topography, UAS, UAVs, Visualization, Weather, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TRB 2020 and the Consumer Electronics Show 2020

Logo for TRB 2020 January 12 - 16

TRB 2020 January 12 – 16 in Washington, DC

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 99th Annual Meeting will be held January 12–16, 2020, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C.and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which will get the show season started January 7 – 10, in where else – Las Vegas, Nevada.

Consumer Electronics Show – The Global Stage for Innovation

CES is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Continue reading

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