Join or Sign in

Register for your free membership or if you are already a member,
sign in using your preferred method below.

To check your latest product inquiries, manage newsletter preference, update personal / company profile, or download member-exclusive reports, log in to your account now!
Login asmag.comMember Registration

Top benefits of using lidar in smart city projects

Top benefits of using lidar in smart city projects
Lidar has emerged as a cutting-edge and much-talked-about technology. Aside from autonomous vehicle applications for which it is better known, lidar can also be deployed in cities and make them smarter. This article examines how.
Lidar has emerged as a cutting-edge and much-talked-about technology. Aside from autonomous vehicle applications for which it is better known, lidar can also be deployed in cities and make them smarter. This article examines how.
Lidar stands for “light detection and ranging.” A lidar sensor emits laser pulses into the environment, detects various objects in the vicinity and then produces an in-depth, highly detailed 3D map of its surroundings. Growth is expected due to strong demand. A report by Industry ARC estimates a CAGR of 15.5 percent during 2020-2025.

Helping smart cities

Lidar has many applications, mostly notably driving the advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in autonomous vehicles. But it has smart city applications as well, especially at a time when municipal operators are faced with various challenges and pain points such as congestion, crimes and pollution. Lidar can be of use in these areas.
“For traffic management, real-time, 3D data allows municipalities to identify near misses, traffic patterns and more to proactively design safer and more efficient traffic systems. As for keeping pedestrians safe, lidar + AI smart city solutions allow the system to identify pedestrians as well as other vulnerable road users to keep them safe,” said Asad Lesani, VP of Intelligent Infrastructure Product at Velodyne. “In the area of crime reduction, lidar monitors areas 24/7, 365 days a year, providing real-time information for effective security solutions.”
Furthermore, lidar can play an effective role in other aspects of a smart city as well. “Lidar’s data allows for real-time monitoring in many applications, including crowd flow, dockyard monitoring, warehouse logistics and more. Lidar does not recognize facial features, so privacy is protected all while providing real-time, high precision space monitoring,” Lesani said. “Lidar can also enable detection and actuation, V2X C-ITS, digital twins, real-time data and prioritization, all of which can make smart cities even smarter.”
It’s also important to point out that lidar holds certain advantages over other sensors in smart city applications. “Traditional vision solutions like camera and radar have limitations, including lack of precision at range, poor object detection and dangerous optical illusions, field of view requiring multiple sensors, and poor performance in adverse lighting and weather conditions,” Lesani said. “Lidar, on the other hand, not only addresses these limitations but offers additional benefits.”
According to Lesani, coupled with AI, lidar-based smart city solutions provide the following benefits:
•    Reliability: Data collection in any lighting or weather conditions, 24/7, 365 days per year;
•    Real-time data: Allows for proactive traffic management capabilities;
•    Multi-modal: Detects all road users, including vehicles, pedestrians;
•    Cost effectiveness and ease of installation: A single sensor on a traffic pole for most installations, with no need for underground wiring;
•    Privacy protection: Lidar cannot identify facial features;
•    Advanced safety analytics: Predict, diagnose and address road safety challenges proactively.

Integration benefits

But this is not to negate the value of other sensors. In fact, lidar can be quite complementary to other security systems as well. Lesani cited Velodyne’s own solution as an example.
“The City of Rüsselsheim in Germany has deployed Velodyne Lidar’s BlueCity solution to create a city-wide system for truck passage control. Rüsselsheim will use Velodyne’s lidar-based full stack solution for digital monitoring and reporting of trucks that are banned on city streets to ease road congestion and air and noise pollution. The application’s digital monitoring decreases traffic enforcement burdens on police resources,” Lesani said. “Solutions like BlueCity provide the data and tools needed to fuse with other sensor data, including IP cameras. The BlueCity integrations in Rüsselsheim employed this approach, layering our BlueCity data with camera data.”
Lesani provided yet another case study of how lidar can be of good use in smart cities. “In Helsinki, Finland, BlueCity has been deployed to collect traffic data and improve roadway safety. In the project, BlueCity delivered an average counting accuracy of 97 percent for vehicle traffic as well as bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The solution also demonstrated its efficacy in detecting near-miss collision situations, such as running red lights and jaywalking, which provides valuable information for developing traffic management improvements that enhance safety,” he said.
According to Lesani, a challenge for lidar deployment in smart cities could be scaling a smart city project from pilot to full roll-out. “Deploying a solution like BlueCity in a roll-out requires the right integrator and distributor in the region to make it happen. Velodyne is currently in the process of building this out globally to address this challenge,” he said.
As for the perception that lidar could be more expensive to deploy, Lesani also demystified this notion. “Given that typically only one lidar sensor is needed per intersection and installation does not require infrastructure changes, such as underground wiring, the overall cost of lidar-based traffic systems can be significantly less than camera-based or inductive loop systems, while providing better data and proactive management capabilities,” he said.

Product Adopted:
Subscribe to Newsletter
Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in physical security

Share to: