High-performance lidar company Cepton, autonomous vehicle testing solutions business ALP.Lab and sensors and connectors company TE Connectivity have announced the completion of a proof-of-concept project which confirmed the ability of an integrated system to warn drivers of unseen hazards ahead.
The project, called Periscope, successfully extended a driver’s field of view by using lidar sensors mounted at the intersection to look around the corner. This enabled the driver to be warned of a pedestrian in the road five seconds before they would have otherwise been visible.
The project combined Cepton’s intelligent 3D lidar perception; ALP.Lab’s knowledge of system integration, testing and data analytics; and TE Connectivity’s vehicle-to-everything (V2X) solution. This resulted in a solution which communicates information about road conditions in real time to a vehicle, improving safety for vehicles and pedestrians by providing more time to react to dangerous situations.
“The results from Periscope are impressive,” said Christoph Knauder at ALP.Lab. “We tested a scenario where a pedestrian around a corner started to cross the road and thus stepped into the lane of the approaching test vehicle. The driver was able to be warned of the approaching pedestrian five seconds before the pedestrian became unblocked and appeared in its field of view. The high-resolution 3D sensing capabilities of Cepton lidars allowed us to generate smart analytics of the situation, while the V2X system by TE Connectivity enabled real-time communications to the vehicle, making it possible to drive an intelligent decision before it’s too late. We believe Periscope has proven the safety potential of smart infrastructure in the future of autonomous mobility. We look forward to extending our collaboration to test the solution in more use cases.”
The project was conducted to address the issue of traffic accidents which involve pedestrians or bicyclists; according to the NHTSA, a pedestrian was killed every 81 minutes and injured every 10 minutes in traffic crashes in 2020. Furthermore, in statistics published by the European Commission in 2021, 70% of total fatalities in urban areas were vulnerable road users.
The Periscope solution was designed by the three companies to expand the awareness of a vehicle and its driver of the overall traffic situation beyond its visible surroundings and the onboard sensors’ reach, via real-time communications of high-precision, smart data collected from nearby infrastructure.
Additional testing will be conducted in the near future to confirm the trio’s initial findings.
“We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of Periscope, in collaboration with ALP.Lab and TE Connectivity,” said Cepton CEO and co-founder Dr Jun Pei. “NHTSA revealed that 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2020, and that’s a heart-rending figure. We believe proactive safety measures should be taken to protect vulnerable road users, and that’s why we invested our efforts in proving how enhanced intelligence in infrastructure can, in turn, make vehicles smarter and safer. Through the lens of Periscope, we can see that the increased connectivity between vehicles and infrastructure can help keep everyone safe on the road. I believe that is also a crucial step toward preparing our society for the future adoption of fully autonomous driving.”
“The results of the V2X Periscope are yet another proof point that V2X and sensing technology is ready to save human lives in road traffic every day,” commented Ralf Klaedtke, CTO, transportation solutions, TE Connectivity. “V2X communication will be the breakthrough technology to advance the safety of autonomous driving and intelligent future mobility. This technology will play a key role in TE’s future.”
“To enable safe and secure testing of automated driving technologies is our core competence. Therefore, we are happy to bring together global players to implement and demonstrate future vehicle technology in Austria,” said Gerhard Greiner, managing partner, ALP.Lab.