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Performance Characteristics of AV Lidar Systems

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Performance Characteristics of AV Lidar Systems

To help engineers understand performance characteristics of various automotive lidar systems, SPIE recently sponsored the first large-scale, open, and noncompetitive lidar benchmarking study using calibrated targets in the field. A multidisciplinary team evaluated 10 lidar systems in this pilot project.

The test included 20 calibrated targets provided by Labsphere. These 10-percent- reflectivity targets at 80-cm tall and about 15-cm wide were sized to represent a small child.

The 10 lidar systems tested were sequentially mounted on a tripod at a fixed height, with the Labsphere targets adjusted to ensure they were not obscured by natural terrain variation. Each system exported a 3D point cloud using the Rosbag format, imported to a laptop for subsequent analysis.

After gathering scene data from each lidar system, the team added complexity to the range with a suite of  “confusers” such as traffic cones, barricades, and road signs adjacent to each target. The idea was to test each lidar system’s automatic gain control as the lidar detector measured reflected light from bright object to dark object and back again, across the range of targets. Such tests of dynamic range are critical in the real world given the presence of people in dark clothing or tire fragments next to highly reflective objects.

Learn more about this exciting project in this article in the July issue of Photonics Focus by CLICKING HERE.

For more information on the Labsphere targets CLICK HERE.

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performance characteristics

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