R&D

Automated car developed by VTT sees through fog

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According to VTT, its robot car, Marilyn, can see better than humans in foggy, and even snowy conditions, and can now navigate without stopping – including in bad weather. It can also see a human through fog and avoid accidents thanks to the lidar mounted on the car’s roof, which can see wavelengths that are beyond the human senses.

The latest additions to Marilyn include optical component wavelengths via the new 1,550nm lidar and additional intelligence for its software, which improves sensor capabilities.

Furthermore, software modules have been built in for the filtering of point clouds and the assessment of scanner reliability. This is to ensure the vehicle’s ability to function, including in fog and powdery snow, under which conditions the lidar radar, which ‘sees’ in the visible and near infrared ranges of the spectrum, even enables the robot car to see people better.

“Although Marilyn’s vision is limited to roughly 30m in thick fog, the new type of lidar enables the car to be driven slowly rather than having to fully stop,” said project manager Matti Kutila.

The car also has traditional automotive radars and lidar, but their detection of non-metallic obstacles and resolution is limited, particularly when trying to recognize shapes.

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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