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Heavy Rain Affects Object Detection by Autonomous Vehicle LiDAR Sensors


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Heavy rain on an auto windshield.

New research confirms that LiDAR sensors on autonomous vehicles are less effective in heavy rain, and increasingly less effective as rain becomes heavier.

Credit: autoevolution.com

Researchers at the University of Warwick in the U.K. have found that the LiDAR sensors on autonomous vehicles (AVs) are less effective in detecting objects at a distance during periods of heavy rain.

The researchers used the university's WMG 3xD simulator to test an AV's LiDAR sensors in different intensities of rain on real roads; they found that when the rainfall increased up to 50 mm per hour, object detection by the sensors dropped in conjunction with a longer range in distance.

Warwick's Valentina Donzella said, "Ultimately we have confirmed that the detection of objects is hindered to LiDAR sensors the heavier the rain and the further away they are.”

From University of Warwick (U.K.)
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