Lidar Scanning Streets in Reno
While lidar is ordinarily thought of in the context of vehicles (unless those vehicles are Teslas, because Elon Musk will not have it!), traffic signals in downtown Reno have been fitted with the sensors.
Velodyne Ultra Puck lidar sensor on traffic signal in Reno for counting pedestrians and traffic. (Image: Velodyne)
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Center for Applied Research, working with Nevada DOT and the governor’s Office of Economic Development, is using the sensors as part of its Intelligent Mobility initiative.
Velodyne Ultra Puck lidar sensors are being used to detect, count and track pedestrians, cyclists and traffic. The sensor have a range of 200 meters and provide a 360° view.
Data collected will allow a better determination of traffic conditions, which can then facilitate things like signal timing to minimize congestion. The university researchers have developed speed, delay and queue length measurements with the lidar measurements.
Although lidar-based systems have the potential of communicating with vehicles, so far in this deployment it is about counting.
It is worth noting as people are concerned about this: the lidar systems don’t perform facial recognition.