Innovative Technology Workshop on 3D Lidar

Principal Investigator(s):

Brian Davis, Associate Dir., Mobility Tech. Lab, Mechanical Engineering


  • Arvind Menon, Former Research Fellow, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

The use of Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is becoming more common among state, county, and local agencies. It presents a means of collecting a great deal of information about the geometry of a road, its surrounding area, and--depending on the sensors used--real-time 3D information about vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian movements. The main focus of this project was to develop and conduct two workshops in Minnesota for public Department of Transportation (DOT) and Geographic Information System (GIS) professionals to provide information on the state-of-the-art in mobile LIDAR scanning. Topics included the basics of LIDAR operation, an overview of currently available hardware, and current/future applications of the technology. Additionally, the workshops featured a live demonstration of a Velodyne HDL-64E 3D LIDAR scanner. A sample application was developed to both demonstrate and better understand the capabilities of a real-time 3D LIDAR scanner. This work focused on developing a system capable of automatically collecting vehicle trajectories through intersections using 3D LIDAR data. This application showed that LIDAR might be a suitable tool for collecting traffic data and provided valuable information about the strengths and limitations of such a system. This project was designed to provide transportation and GIS professionals with accurate, current, and applicable information about LIDAR systems. To accomplish this, existing LIDAR knowledge was combined with market survey research as well as with new information gathered through the process of creating a sample application. This knowledge was aggregated and used to create a workshop that was informative and well received by participants.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2015067
  • Start date: 01/2015
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Safety, Traffic operations

Reports or Products: