Transportation Systems with Intelligence at the Edge
Transportation Systems with Intelligence at the Edge
From October 11–15, AEye was present at ITS World Congress in Hamburg, Germany, showcasing our 4Sight™ LiDAR sensor solution for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Together with Intetra, a premier provider of end-to-end solutions for ITS and Electronic Toll Collection Systems (ETC), and 3D computer vision company, Seoul Robotics, the team demonstrated AEye’s advanced, long-range detection capabilities across several ITS applications for transportation authorities and global system integrators.
At the show, we observed three main focus areas for ITS applications: safety, smart cities and connected infrastructure. Below, we’ll dive into what we noted in each of these segments, and how adaptive LiDAR — with sensing intelligence at the edge — can advance the deployment in each area to prevent accidents, reduce traffic congestion, and increase municipality savings.
Many companies are interested in using advanced insights from sensor installations to improve safety in various use cases, including:
- Crosswalk Management — Monitors intersections to allocate sufficient crossing time for pedestrians before traffic is allowed to proceed.
- Long-Range Horizon Tracking — Checks for lane occupancy and velocity in all directions across lanes beyond 200 meters, tracks vehicles approaching lights, and controls the lights based on time needed to stop to ensure vehicles are let through intersections without endangering themselves or others.
- Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Protection — Ensures that sufficient warnings are deployed to connected vehicles, such as warning them against collision-relevant entities including pedestrians and cyclists.
City developers are also planning for a future full of autonomous systems such as:
- Small last-mile delivery vehicles that can be tele-operated at lower speeds in urban environments to deliver goods to their final destinations.
- Warehouse and logistic robots that detect boxes and containers to execute sorting functions to improve throughput.
- Automated parking structures equipped with a network of sensors that identify open parking spaces and guide manual or autonomous vehicles to these locations.
- Asset management systems to monitor, count, and inspect bridges, traffic signs, utility poles, and sidewalks for city and state governments.
As telecom providers begin large-scale deployment of 5G, the mobility industry is keen to leverage its high bandwidth and low-latency advantages with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to share critical sensor data with all parties on the road.
From a traffic management perspective, fixed sensor installations can be used to track areas of increasing congestion, as well as alert motorists of construction zones with blocked lanes. In turn, this can be used to:
- Share critical information like obstacles and lane obstructions through V2V) communication as well as send data to smart infrastructure (V2I).
- Optimize traffic flow to re-route vehicles, particularly during rush hours.
- Provide real-time construction, accident, or lane occupancy information to map providers including Apple, Google, HERE, and others to optimize suggested routes.
- Alert cyclists of hazardous situations before planning the safest route to their destination.
How does 3D sensing expedite deployments in the world of ITS?
ITS applications are diverse, yet demand similar requirements from perception sensors. All ITS applications must obtain an object list (class, location, size, timestamp, velocity) and use it to derive value for traffic management or city planning. It’s up to the system integrator to choose the appropriate technology to provide the highest quality results to these backends.
Historically, integrators primarily relied on cameras, which degrade in performance in poor lighting and adverse weather conditions. In recent years, they’ve explored radar sensors for ITS deployments as an easy way to obtain velocity information. However, radars don’t complement cameras in poor lighting and adverse weather conditions due to limited inherent resolution, disallowing object classification, especially at long distances.
In order to complement the cameras and radars, system integrators are now equipping LiDAR sensors for ITS deployments to add unambiguous, high resolution 3D data. LiDAR is the only deterministic sensor that provides real-time 3D information in a point cloud, capturing the specific data needed for ITS applications, such as vector and velocity information to study object trajectories.
Vision for a Safer Future
However, not all LiDARs are created equal. AEye’s award-winning 4Sight™ platform is the only intelligent sensing solution with AI-driven, adaptive LiDAR at its core. Its software-configurable architecture enables customized performance modes for any ITS application, as well as allows for different mounting heights and operating domains. Meaning, integrators and urban developers can use the same 4Sight product, but configure it for tolling applications, intersection management, automatic incident detection, wrong-way detection, work zone safety, and more.
4Sight provides high accuracy classification capabilities (vehicle type, cyclist, pedestrian, etc.), delivers long term, solid-state reliability, and can be optimized for dynamic conditions such as weather, lighting, and other environmental factors. 4Sight can be used to obtain high-quality traffic data, including near-miss incidents to help reduce congestion and plan for more efficient urban sprawls of the future.
See for Yourself
AEye is looking forward to showcasing at the ITS America 2021 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, December 7–10 in Booth #1321. We will be showcasing how our adaptive LiDAR both enables smart mobility infrastructure, and improves intersection management, tolling, and automatic incident detection on highways.
Not attending the show? Schedule an interactive, virtual demonstration of our 4Sight sensor and discover how AEye’s adaptive 4Sight platform can be used to advance all ITS sensing applications.
AEye is the premier provider of next generation, high-performance LiDAR systems for vehicle autonomy, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and robotic vision applications. AEye’s software-driven 4Sight™ platform leverages deterministic AI to capture more intelligent information with less data, enabling faster, more accurate, and more reliable perception for everything that moves. Together with its global manufacturing partners, AEye delivers sensors at scale that meet the diverse performance and functional requirements of autonomous and partially automated applications, ensuring safety.