This article aims to outline the key results of testing and encountered challenges of various LiDARs, radar and stereo camera in arctic weather conditions. The test session was conducted in two different urban areas in Finland in the middle of January 2019. The arctic conditions turned out to be challenging for the sensors dedicated more to areas where temperature stays relatively warm. The aim of this one-week test session was to assess performance deterioration when powdered snow, salted road, snowy ground and sun light influence reliability of the future automated driving functions. This study focuses mainly on the issues with hardware that are basic building blocks for the situation awareness software modules. Furthermore, the countermeasures such as protecting sensors and mounting positions have been proposed.The test results indicate that some sensors significantly lose performance when temperature drops to less than -10 degrees centigrade. The problem is not merely mechanical freezing of the spinning LiDAR components but properties of laser illumination may change due to temperature variation, too. Since LiDAR is an optical device, they also suffer when there is turbulent snow in front of the sensor. The turbulence looks like a noise and partially blocks the laser echoes from surrounding environment. The performance, measured by laser pulse echo count, can with some sensors drop more than 50 percent. This seriously diminishes the sensing range and furthermore, makes pattern recognition unreliable. The two other sensor types which were taken into account are stereo vision and radar. They have a role in automated driving to compensate performance degradation of LiDARs due to arctic conditions.

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Published on 01/01/2019

Volume 2019, 2019
DOI: 10.1109/iccp48234.2019.8959554
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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