Leddar Pixell LiDAR sensor review

Posted on February 9, 2022 in ,

The Leddar Pixell is specifically designed for ADAS and autonomous driving applications and enables dependable detection and tracking of pedestrians, cyclists and other obstacles in the vehicle’s vicinity. The Mapix technologies technical team evaluated the Leddar Pixell LiDAR sensor to establish its performance across 3 key scenarios – cyclist detection; pedestrian detection and vehicle monitoring at a road intersection.

1. Assessment of the Leddar Pixell

With an extra wide 180° Field of View the Pixell can detect and track vehicles and obstacles, in particular vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The sensor forms a proximity detection cocoon around a vehicle providing effective blind spot coverage, avoiding any dead zones.

Leddar Pixell Mapix technologies

The Leddar Pixell

The Leddar Pixell uses 3D flash LiDAR technology and has a 100% solid-state design which means it has no moving parts. It can withstand a wide temperature range, it has a high Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) rate and is best in-class for shock and vibration resistance. These features combine to provide superior durability and make the Pixell ideal for autonomous vehicle applications and for use in demanding environments.

The Pixell has 96 horizontal and 8 vertical segments, providing 768 independent surfaces with simultaneous acquisitions at a refresh rate of 20Hz. The scanner provides 8 times more vertical coverage than most mechanical scanners. The advantage of this design is that it generates less data, reducing the computing resources required, making it easier and quicker to simultaneously process the outputs from multiple scanners in real-time.

Independent testing by Mapix technologies

Over the years we have tested numerous LiDAR and camera sensors at our Edinburgh headquarters and in 2021 we had the opportunity to test the Leddar Pixell from LeddarTech Inc. We tested the sensor in three different locations in order to assess its capabilities for cyclist detection, pedestrian detection and intersection traffic flow monitoring. The Pixell sensor was mounted on a tripod alongside a GoPro camera to enable us to capture a dataset and a video at each location. The Pixell was connected to a laptop and data was recorded using the LeddarTech Configurator software.

Testing Leddar Pixell at cyclepath

Setting up the Pixell on the cyclepath

2. Evaluation results

To help you interpret the results, each dataset is accompanied by a video so you can clearly see what was captured by the Pixell. Please note the video is illustrative and was not synchronised precisely with the Leddar Pixell.

Scenario 1: Cyclist detection

Aim: The LeddarTech Pixell is designed to detect vulnerable road users such as cyclists. The aim of this test was to determine how well the sensor could detect these smaller and slower moving objects.

Result: The Pixell has a detection range of up to 32 metres. It’s interesting to note that the Pixell detects the cyclist from a considerable distance well before they are visible on the video feed. The Pixell then tracks the cyclist as they ride closer to the sensor.


Scenario 2: Pedestrian and vehicle detection

Aim: To establish if the Pixell can detect pedestrians as well as a range of different sized vehicles.

Result: At the beginning of the recording from 0:08, again at 1:04 and at 1:26 you can clearly identify pedestrians crossing the road. Despite the dark clothing worn by the pedestrian at 0:08 the Pixell still gives a strong return. The Pixell also detects a wide variety of vehicles including buses, trucks, vans and cars.


Scenario 3: Monitoring and detecting vehicles at a road intersection

Aim: To illustrate the monitoring of traffic flow at a busy road junction by the LiDAR sensor.

Result: Numerous vehicles moving in different directions and at varying speeds, including buses, cars and vans, are positively detected at this road junction.

3. Conclusion

The datasets and video feeds from our three tests confirm the Pixell’s capabilities to detect and track vulnerable road users and a range of vehicles at a variety of distances, excelling at very close range. The 180 degree Field of View provides excellent coverage and overcomes any blind spots that are inherent in traditional mechanical scanners.

The Pixell generates an output in a 3D voxel type structure which is simple to understand and process. The data is easy to segment and it is straightforward to extract objects, to determine their velocity and direction in order to ascertain if there is a potential risk of collision. The relatively low bandwidth of data output by the Pixell means less CPU power is required in the vehicle to undertake object detection. This in turn means lower capital expenditure on processing hardware and a lower power consumption for the vehicle.

Leddar Pixell available from Mapix technologies

Mapix technologies is the official distributor for LeddarTech LiDAR sensors in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands.

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