LiDAR system becomes an important component in different industries in recent years, due to its ability to provide the accurate 3D structure of its surroundings or a specific target, and also due to its identification of objects in case of the mobile object.
LiDAR system can be used in different industries, some of the industries that are already working on its development are explained below.
LiDAR in the Autonomous Vehicles Technology
LiDAR is considered as the most important component in the autonomous technology, due to its 360-degree scanning for objects around the vehicle, with precise distance calculation. LiDAR sometime refers to an AI of vehicles. Companies that are working on the development of autonomous technology, such as Google, Uber, Ford, General Motors and Toyota, use LiDAR system for self-driving.
Tesla said that it is not using LiDAR for its autonomous vehicles. According to Elon Musk, the LiDAR technology is quite costly as compared to its usage in autonomous vehicles. He also predicted that other companies would also abandon LiDAR, in the future. Tesla develops its own software and sensors kit to identify the objects while driving autonomous vehicles.
To illustrate the difference between Tesla software and LiDAR, let’s look at the example of a plastic bag on the road. The LiDAR will scan the plastic bag as an obstacle for which vehicle needs to stop, and by applying brakes on a highway can cause accidents. However, Tesla software can identify a plastic bag as a non-threat obstacle, which does not need the car to stop.
LiDAR in the Agriculture Industry
LiDAR can provide the 3D elevation maps of agriculture field, through drones equipped with LiDAR system, which can be used for different purposes such as creating slope in the field and determine sunlight exposure area of the field. Such data can help farmers to identify the areas which need more water and fertilisers, and also help in cost reduction of labour, and save time. Various companies are working for the development of LiDAR technology for the agriculture sector. Some of them include Teledyne Optech, Riegl, LeddarTech, Yellowscan and SimActive Inc.
LiDAR Applications for Environment
LiDAR can provide an efficient way to model the pollution status in the environment by identifying the particles in the environment. As LiDAR works on short wavelengths lights in its operations, such as ultraviolet light, visible light and near-infrared laser, so it can easily identify the particles that are equal in size or greater than the wavelength of light. The pollutant particles that LiDAR can detect are of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and methane. The identification of pollutant particles can help researchers to easily create the pollutant density map of a specific area, which can help in the better planning of city or country development.
Although the lights used in the LiDAR system can be harmful to the human eye, which is why the lights need to be in wavelength that cannot affect the human eye.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (the organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India) announced in December 2017 that it would use LiDAR advanced technology to observe the quality of air in Delhi. Other organisations and institutions working on the development of LiDAR to find pollutant particles in the environment, which include NRG Systems, Leosphere, Inc., and Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS).