LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and is an incredibly complicated and versatile camera system which helps create a 3D representation of the world around it. Most people will be familiar with LiDAR because of its extensive use in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.
Some auto manufacturers like Tesla have moved away from LiDAR opting to instead use cameras backed up by a traditional radar to increase accuracy, but for the size and current costing, there are little to no alternatives to beat the positioning and range abilities of LiDAR.
LiDAR In Business
LiDAR did its part in revolutionizing the auto industry, but the uses are far from over. As LiDAR is used more frequently, the cost starts to lower, and the size gets smaller. LiDAR is already used on drones in numerous fields, allowing for great expansion and further cost reduction of this technology going forward. There are a lot of industries which would see change and improvements with the addition of LiDAR.
- Agriculture – The initial uses of LiDAR in agriculture have not extended much further than automation. There is, however, a lot of benefit to be had in information. Being able to fly a LiDAR equipped drone over a crop on a frequent basis can reveal a lot of information on growth patterns, highlighting weak points in the lands, expected yield and optimizations to watering and fertilizing processes. LiDAR stands to increase crop yield as it will better help optimize the crop growing process.
- Civil engineering – Surveying is a huge industry which could be drastically changed by the addition of LiDAR. Being able to use a drone with LiDAR which can tell its relative distance from base stations as it travels, will dramatically cut down the time it takes a team to survey an area. The LiDAR equipment may be a large initial expenditure but stands to save surveying companies a lot of time and money as it is used more in the field.
- Mining – Surveying and knowing the exact position of ground points in mining is not only about success, but safety as well. In pit mines and underground mining operations, having an accurate mining plan and precise maps of the surrounding land is what prevents a cave in and ensures the safety of the mine. LiDAR stands to act as a security measure for the surveying of the mine and assistance in automation of the mining trucks.
- Automation – Wherever something is automated and needs to be closely monitored, LiDAR stands to save time and potentially money. For something as simple as a canned food plant, LiDAR can highlight poor optimization and pinpoint potential problems before they happen.
With extensive use in the auto industry, the costing of the average LiDAR unit has come down considerably. It still varies greatly on the range and speed needed for a particular application. On average, the cost of LiDAR systems has dropped by 30% within the last 5 years, leaving people with more to spend at ZARCasino.
There is a promising future in cost and usability in LIDAR systems, making LiDAR in automation and other potential fields more promising by the day.