The Road Ahead: Using LiDAR Technology for Traffic Safety

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 2:53 PM PST
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SPONSORED: The RTC is looking toward the future of transportation by advancing new technology for traffic safety. LiDAR is the future of transportation technology, and RTC is leading the way here in our community. LiDAR uses low-energy laser beams to measure space between objects, such as cars, buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This is the same technology that’s used by some autonomous vehicle manufacturers, but in our area, we are using it to advance traffic safety.

The RTC is primarily testing this technology in high-pedestrian-traffic areas, including Downtown Reno and Midtown Reno. Whenever RTC has new LiDAR sensors that go up, RTC gets questions from the community about what these are. While they may look different from what you’re used to seeing on our roadways and sidewalks, they’re not recording any video or sound. They work as sensors, generating general engineering measurements to be used by traffic safety officials.

LiDAR is like a radar that provides detection and measurement information. LiDAR is a one-stop-shop sensing solution for traffic safety officials to look at traffic safety information at any time of day or night. This information helps identify and address traffic safety issues that could arise before a crash happens. It can also be used to automatically turn on pedestrian-crossing signals if people forget to push the button. LiDAR on a vehicle can be used to help the RTC monitor the condition of our transit infrastructure. As we look toward the future, this will help us improve safety for everyone in our community.