In the modern age, humans have started drifting away from not relying too much on their eyes and side mirrors to drive their vehicles anymore. Autonomous or self-driving vehicles have started taking the world by storm and are the future.
It is common knowledge that top car manufacturing companies like Telsa and Waymo have embraced the self-driving initiative and are applying the best sensors which are; Lidar, Radar, and Camera.
Waymo has begun to use the Lidar sensor which is considered the most expensive but accurate sensor, while Telsa still uses Camera and Radar. There’ve been debates on which of the sensors is best for autonomous vehicles. Let’s take a look below.
Lidar means light detection and ranging as it is a sensor that scans the environment and gives a 360 view of dangers or issues around your vehicle. It is primarily used to survey the landscape and provide data for studying but it can now be applied in cars.
Benefits of using Lidar
1. It is unaffected by weather conditions – Lidar is unaffected by any kind of severe weather condition as it still performs excellently. Be it snow, rain, or wind, the Lidar sensor would still give you an accurate view of your environment.
2. It can spot objects 100m far away – The LIDAR sensor is so sharp that it can spot objects or surfaces 100m far away and gives you a 3D view of it so you can take the necessary steps.
Radar as we know means radio detection and ranging is a common sensor that has been in place for a long time now. It works in a way in which radio waves are sent to detect or sense incoming objects, thereby showing their reflections. The same way it is used in many fields, it can still be applied in our cars.
Benefits of using Radar
1. It works perfectly in any weather condition – of course, radar works perfectly in any weather condition be it rain, snow, night, and day. It would still give you accurate reflections or signal to happen in your environment.
2. It allows automatic emergency braking – The radar sensor works in such a way that if there is danger, it would be able to apply an automatic brake to your car. Nothing seems better than that for your self-driving vehicles.
The camera is considered the cheapest and less useful sensor for autonomous vehicles. It is the oldest as vehicles under the driver monitoring system (DMS) and Surrounds view system (SVS) has it and is still being used. There would be no self-driving vehicles without cameras because it is the first major sensor.
Benefits of Camera
1. You get a clear view of the environment in day time – Using the camera, you get a clear view of your surroundings better at the day as it helps you at the beginning of your self-driving journey.
2. It is cheap – As I said earlier, it is the cheapest of sensors to get in autonomous vehicles. It doesn’t require much setting and expenses like the other two sensors (Lidar and Radar).
The above sensors are cool for self-driving vehicles, but they all have limitations which give you a chance to pick the one that is best for you.
Lidar – It requires a lot of setting up and it is highly expensive.
Radar – The 3D image given after scanning of the environment is most times blurry.
Camera- It is poor in harsh weather conditions and not as accurate as required