Guided by LiDAR on the roof, VTT's robot car, named Marilyn, allegedly sees better than humans in foggy and snowy conditions. It can navigate without stopping in bad weather, see a human through fog, and avoid accidents automatically. The LiDAR mounted on the car’s roof can see wavelengths that are beyond the human senses. As the technology evolves, this represents a big step towards a safe automated vehicle.
The latest additions to Marilyn include optical component wavelengths via the 1550-nm LiDAR and additional intelligence for its software. Furthermore, software modules have been built in for the filtering of point clouds and the assessment of scanner reliability. This is to ensure the vehicle's ability to function, including in fog and powdery snow, under which conditions the LiDAR radar, which ‘sees’ in the visible and near infrared ranges of the spectrum, even enables the robot car to see people better.
The car also has traditional automotive radars and LiDAR, but their detection of non-metallic obstacles and resolution is limited, particularly when trying to recognize shapes. More and more scenarios (such as cities, main roads, snow, exit ramps), which robot cars can manage, have been added.
For more info on Marilyn, please contact Matti Kutila, Project Manager, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland