Velodyne Lidar has teamed up with University of Nevada and Reno to advance research in transportation infrastructure in the US.

The university’s Nevada Center for Applied Research, in collaboration with the Nevada DOT and Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, is using Velodyne’s lidar sensors in its Intelligent Mobility initiative.

This initiative is intended to gather data to make transportation more efficient, sustainable and safer.

Under the programme, Velodyne Ultra Puck lidar sensors have been equipped with traffic signals to identify, count and track pedestrians, cyclists and traffic. This will help boost traffic analytics, congestion management and pedestrian safety.

These sensors have been placed at crossing signs and intersections in the city of Reno, Nevada.

Furthermore, the lidar-enhanced roads can communicate data to connected vehicles to support eco-drive and collision avoidance applications.

Using lidar data, university researchers have developed speed measurement and delay and queue length measurements for roadway congestion monitoring.

Under this programme, an electric bus is operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County.

The bus is equipped with an Ultra Puck and other sensors to gather data to evaluate mass-transit routes and understand the feasibility of mass-transit automation in city segments with a linked infrastructure.

Nevada Center for Applied Research director Carlos Cardillo said: “Velodyne’s lidar sensors have been instrumental in our transportation research, providing the accurate, reliable 3D data we need in our Intelligent Mobility programme.

“Velodyne sensors are helping us address the challenge of improving mobility and safety in transportation, and contribute to advancing smart cities.”

Velodyne Lidar vice-president of business development Jon Barad said: “The Nevada Center for Applied Research is charting a path to create the smart cities of the future by enabling multi-modal communication between infrastructure, vehicles and people.

“Their multidisciplinary research team is using Velodyne’s lidar sensors in innovative ways to collect and analyse data needed to improve efficiency and safety.”

The Velodyne Ultra Puck offers a 360° environmental view to provide precise real-time 3D data.

The small, compact lidar sensor delivers a 200-meter range.

As the sensor is reliable and power efficient, it is feasible to serve for smart city applications such as pedestrian safety, vehicle traffic and parking space management.

In addition, the Ultra Puck does not identify individuals’ facial characteristics, which helps to address concern for civic applications.