The use of lidar technologies is helping many industries grow at a fast pace. This useful key technology is also helping smart cities in their infrastructure deployment. The sensors gather information about the city during the day and at night and provide spatial data while maintaining privacy protections. Lidar use cases in smart cities are now enabling municipalities to create safer streets for civilians, cut traffic issues, improve parking situations, and more. Here are five ways lidar technology is being implemented in current and future smart cities.
1. Traffic monitoring
Because these sensors operate in low light conditions, traffic monitoring can be done during the day as well as at night. This technology can also identify types of vehicles with much better accuracy than traditional cameras. 3D lidar can count cars in busy intersections and across multiple lanes of traffic. This is helpful to municipalities as it gives a greater understanding of where problems exist and why.
2. Pedestrian monitoring
Another lidar application in smart cities is identifying high pedestrian traffic locations. This technology can count people at city parks, intersections, stadiums, downtown hot spots, and other areas. Additionally, it can detect where a person is located and the direction they are moving to. This information can help create more needed sidewalks or footbridges and also look for individuals and help in Amber Alert situations.
3. Urban planning
Lidar allows municipalities to create detailed 3D models of cities that can be used for city mapping, updating city maps, disaster management, and recovery, detecting urban environment changes, new building construction, and military operations to name a few.
4. The self-driving car connection
Lidar in self-driving cars will frequently capture data about the vehicle and its surroundings. This information will be sent to a central database about road conditions and systems to other vehicles. This is important for smart cities as it could alert other vehicles about road hazards or emergencies to stay away or find a new route. Smart parking through lidar is another opportunity here, as it could identify open spots thus helping save on fuel consumption and time.
Lidar use in smart cities will enable municipalities to create safer and more practical spaces within the city, that will benefit civilians. As self-driving cars emerge, lidar will be used for urban planning and V2X communications. This technology continues to grow as each day more and more applications for it emerge.