Laying the lidar groundwork for automated truck driving

Laying the lidar groundwork for automated truck driving

It’s one thing to see what’s on the road ahead of you, it’s another to know what that object is that’s in front of you. We take it for granted, the box is clearly a box, the blown tire is clearly rubber laying on the road. But as someone who has changed a tire on the side of the Turnpike, we don’t always avoid the debris in the road that can cause an unplanned service issue. Automated trucks, however, need to be perfect. Or as close to perfect as you can get.

That’s why talk of lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors swirl within the automated driving conversation. The devices send out light that is then collected and turned into three-dimensional images that look like this:


Clearly that one is mounted above street level. On automated trucks, they’re typically mounted on the side of the truck near the roof fairing/sun visor area and potentially lower on the hood depending on the system. One question within trucking application, is durability. Lidar is a precision instrument and the road is anything but smooth.

For an understanding of how lidar is making its way into automated trucking systems and to discuss the need for durability, I connected with Andrew Nelson, vice president of sales, AEye, who laid out the lidar roadmap for automated truck driving. Watch the video above for all of his insight.

Staying in a lane

For what it’s worth, my memory can be shaky but I was within the ballpark when I mentioned the possibility of automated vehicle lanes, ABC News has that story.

No script? No plan? No problem. Welcome to Fleet Equipment Unscripted—the video interview series that connects you with the greatest minds in the heavy-duty trucking world.

Bookmark the Fleet Equipment Unscripted page to catch all of our Unscripted episodes, and subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here to have the latest news and in-depth trucking stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Fleet Equipment Unscripted is sponsored by Hendrickson.

You May Also Like

Everyone’s talking about AI, but will it make an impact in trucking?

How much of the AI craze will result in real help for fleets?

If you’ve been on the internet in the past year - and I’m going to go ahead and assume that you have - you’ve probably heard entirely too much about AI. Artificial intelligence has been a concept in computing for decades and decades, but use of the term really multiplied with the release of generative AI programs like Chat GPT. It’s got everybody talking about AI, and everybody wanting to release products that heavily feature AI.

Inside the International S13 powertrain

As the International S13 powertrain rolls out to customers, the OEM also rolled its new engine, transmission and aftertreatment package out to TMC, held earlier this month in New Orleans. David Crowe, S13 integrated sales manager at International Trucks, walked us around the powertrain that is characterized by its dual overhead cam engine design, which

How are natural gas truck engines different this time?

Cummins talks us through launch of the X15N engine and what fleets are saying about natural gas powertrains.

Where we’re at with battery electric trucks

Battery electric trucks are available and charging infrastructure is hard to come by, so where does that leave us?

Demystifying medium-duty battery electric trucks

The advantages and misconceptions of medium-duty electric vehicles for vocational tasks.


Other Posts

Inside the most secret building at Volvo Trucks

What’s no secret is the importance of trucking safety, and Volvo’s goal to reduce accidents across the globe.

How fleet management tools can help increase fuel efficiency

From fleet cards to EVs and data, all work together to help save on costs.

Trade Show Talk: Trends kicking off 2024

Alternative fuels, connectivity, efficiency—there’s been plenty to report on from trucking trade shows, but which topics stuck out most?

J&R Schugel wraps Kenworth T680s to support driver causes

After a driver beat breast cancer, the company wrapped her truck in pink and white to support her goal of raising awareness.