LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) is a laser-based method of detection, range finding and mapping.
LiDAR typically uses a low-power, eye-safe pulsing laser working in conjunction with a camera. The laser illuminates a target and associated software calculates the time it takes for the laser to reflect back from the target.
LiDAR’s best-known application is measuring the speed of a target, for example in police speed guns.
LiDAR vs. RADAR: What is the difference?
Traditionally, law enforcement has used RADAR-based tools to determine speed of moving vehicles. RADAR relies on the Doppler effect, where a radio signal is sent out and returned after bouncing off the target object, to measure speed. While this has proven effective in some traffic enforcement situations, there are limitations to only relying on RADAR technology.
With RADAR, waves are sent out towards the target vehicle in a cone-like shape. Unfortunately, this can be a problem in areas of high congestion, as it becomes harder for the RADAR-based system to determine which vehicle the reading came from, resulting in a higher chance of error.
With LiDAR, the light pulse is sent out in a narrow pinpoint beam, giving the officer a better chance of capturing vehicle specific speed-readings in heavy traffic areas. Because of this advantage, both automated and hand held LiDAR are becoming the speed enforcement technology of choice by law enforcement officers.
What Makes Optotraffic’s LiDAR technology so unique?
Optotraffic’s patented LiDAR reconfigures the standard range finding measurement into an optical gate system that measures speed of a traveling vehicle using a “time-distance” formula.
When a vehicle passes through, or breaks the first beam, the internal microprocessor records the time the beam was interrupted. As the vehicle breaks the second beam, the time of the second interruption is recorded. Based on the distance between the two beams on the road, and the time between the two interruptions, the sensor then computes the speed of the passing vehicle.
By positioning our sensors well above the road, we are able to accurately measure the speeds of all vehicles in a multi-lane environment – virtually eliminating the possibility of sensor occlusion. Furthermore, the sensors are capable of simultaneously measuring the speeds of vehicles moving in the same direction or in opposite directions. Because of these unique features, there are practically no limitations on capturing simultaneous and consecutive violations.