‘Periscope’ V2X proof of concept deemed a success

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Cepton, a specialist in high-performance lidar solutions, ALP.Lab and TE Connectivity have completed a proof-of-concept project that confirms the ability of an integrated system to warn drivers of unseen hazards ahead.

The ‘Periscope’ project successfully extended a driver’s field of view by using lidar sensors mounted at the intersection to ‘look around the corner’ and warn of pedestrians approximately five seconds before they would be visible otherwise

Using Cepton’s intelligent 3D lidar perception, ALP.Lab’s expertise in system integration, testing and data analytics and TE Connectivity’s vehicle-to-everything (V2X) solution, the companies have been able to create a solution that communicates additional information about road conditions in real time to the vehicle providing more time to react to potentially dangerous situations.

“The results from ‘Periscope’ are impressive,” said Christoph Knauder at ALP.Lab. “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, while the V2X system by TE Connectivity enabled real-time communications to the vehicle, making it possible to drive an intelligent decision before it’s too late. We believe ‘Periscope’ has proven the safety potential of smart infrastructure in the future of autonomous mobility. We look forward to extending our collaboration to test the solution in more use cases.”

The companies are planning to collaborate on quantitative testing in the coming months to confirm this initial finding.

In 2021 statistics published by the European Commission, “70% of total fatalities in urban areas are vulnerable road users,” but while recent enhancements in ADAS are expected to help reduce crashes between vehicles and bicyclists, pedestrians, and e-scooters, the complexity of road conditions today leaves a critical gap where not all road users are within the vehicle’s field of view when early warning is needed. This reduces the ability of the vehicle to react and prevent potential collisions.

Periscope was designed to expand the awareness of a vehicle and its driver of the overall traffic situation beyond visible surroundings and the onboard sensors’ reach via real-time communications of high-precision, smart data collected from the infrastructure.

In this project Cepton has provided high-precision perception through its Helius Smart Lidar System, which combines high-performance lidar sensors with edge computing and perception software to deliver real-time, 3D object detection, classification and tracking day and night.

ALP.Lab spearheaded the overall system integration and testing. Its proprietary software translated the perception data output from Cepton’s lidar system into Collaborative Awareness Messages (CAM), which provide a driver vital information about traffic flow, vehicle position, driving speed, driving direction etc. ALP.Lab also provided the testing area and infrastructure for Periscope.

TE Connectivity completed the solution with V2X hardware components in the car and in the surrounding infrastructure, which allow the transmission of CAM to any vehicle. TE Connectivity also provided technology for an on-board display of the vehicle’s location and any potential road hazards.

Commenting Cepton CEO and Co-founder Dr. Jun Pei, said, “We believe proactive safety measures should be taken to protect vulnerable road users, and that’s why we invested our efforts in proving how enhanced intelligence in infrastructure can, in turn, make vehicles smarter and safer. Through the lens of ‘Periscope,’ we can see that the increased connectivity between vehicles and infrastructure can help keep everyone safe on the road. I believe that is also a crucial step towards preparing our society for the future adoption of fully autonomous driving.”