- 70% of total fatalities in urban areas are vulnerable road users
- As of 2000, a U.S.-based pedestrian was involved in a fatal accident every 81 minutes
- In conjunction with its technological partners, Cepton has designed a lidar-based road sensor, directed to warn drivers about potential pedestrian activity around a corner 5 seconds before they would otherwise be visible
- Despite its original intended use as an advanced motion-system tool, the use of lidar technology has far surpassed its original necessities
- Today, lidar technology is being used within a wide array of initiatives and industries, ranging from security and safety solutions, smart railways, and traffic control systems in urban metropolises
During the 1970s and 1980s, roadways across the U.S. and western Europe grew safer as the adoption of seatbelts, airbags, and improved vehicle designs became ubiquitous. At the time, the United States could credibly claim to be a global leader in the field of automotive safety – its New Car Assessment Program (“NCAP”), launched in 1983, was the first rating system designed to inform and educate consumers about the crashworthiness of various car models. Today, such rankings have emerged as commonplace around the world. However, it is in another key aspect that the U.S. has failed to keep pace with the rest of the world.
In 2021, as the U.S. hit a 16-year high for road fatalities; Japan and Norway posted the lowest number of road deaths since the 1940’s. That figure is perhaps most stark for pedestrian deaths. In the U.S., this inflated over 40% between 2010-2018, more than twice the pace of any other member country (most of which saw a decline) (https://ibn.fm/JTh5u
). In fact, and as per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “a pedestrian was killed every 81 minutes and injured every 10 minutes in traffic crashes” in 2000.
Cepton (NASDAQ: CPTN)
, a Silicon Valley innovator of lidar-based solutions for automotive (AV/ADAS), smart cities, smart spaces and smart industrial applications, is working to change this. Together with ALP.Lab GmbH (“ALP.Lab”), an Austria-based technology provider of autonomous vehicle testing solutions, and TE Connectivity, a leader in sensors and connectors, Cepton has recently completed a revolutionary proof of concept project, testing an integrated system designed to warn drivers of unseen hazards ahead. Named “Periscope,” the project extends and expands a driver’s field of view by using lidar sensors mounted at road intersections to ‘look around the corner’, warning drivers of the presence of pedestrians approximately five seconds before they would have otherwise been visible.
The technology, which seeks to combine Cepton’s intelligent 3D lidar perception with ALP.Lab’s expertise in system integration, testing and data analytics, and TE Connectivity’s vehicle-to-everything solution, will look to communicate additional information about road conditions in real time to the vehicle, thus providing both drivers and vehicles more time to react to potentially dangerous situations.
“The results from ‘Periscope’ are impressive,” said Christoph Knauder at ALP.Lab (https://ibn.fm/MmLwM
). “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 his field of view. The high-resolution 3D sensing capabilities of Cepton lidars allowed us to generate smart analytics of the situation.”
Dating back to its inception in 2016, Cepton has sought to market the concept of ‘Lidar for Life’, promoting the use of lidar technology beyond mass-market consumer vehicles and towards a broad array of applications such as the development of smart infrastructure in cities, spaces, and industrial robotics. In March 2022, Cepton teamed up with fibre-optics systems house, Fibre Based Integrations, to work together towards developing a lidar-based vehicle detection system in Cape Town, South Africa – an essential initiative designed to enable citywide smart transportation infrastructure. Effectively, the lidar-enabled systems would allow Cape Town’s technology department to gather accurate, real-time lane usage data, enabling analytics which could help identify ways to improve traffic flow and safety for motorists and pedestrians (https://ibn.fm/NcuUV
This field-of-view technology has rapidly established itself as a pervasive presence in today’s increasingly high-tech world. Complex surroundings and situations are now assisted by lidar in ways that improve the flow of transit, crowd management, and intrusion detection. Ranging from the company’s combined effort with Barrier1 Systems to improve safety among worksites and facilities (https://ibn.fm/ZX8St
), to Cepton’s lidars in conjunction with Vortex IoT, actively inspecting road conditions and signaling hazards before they become a larger problem and cause accidents (https://ibn.fm/pqHMe
). Boasting years of experience within lidar development as well as a significant edge in the technology’s deployment across a wide array of sectors and functionalities, Cepton looks remarkably well placed to continue to improve vehicular safety and promote lidar’s vital functionalities going forward.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Cepton.com
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