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ECE/GTRI Lidar Interference Research Featured by SPIE

Atlanta, GA
Lidar vehicles

Lidar vehicles

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SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, has released a news story that features Georgia Tech lidar (light detection and ranging) research as it relates to autonomous vehicles. 

The project, joint between the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, has shown how interference can occur between vehicles that each have their own lidar sensing systems. These lidar units are designed to sense their surroundings and thus keep track of the locations of all surrounding vehicles. However, this work has shown how false returns can occur when there are multiple vehicles, each with its own lidar systems. 

Any vehicle, in addition to receiving its own lidar returns, may unintentionally receive returns from other vehicles’ lidars, thus indicating they are farther away or closer than they actually are. This erroneous range information could lead to disastrous consequences. 

This research is being conducted by ECE Ph.D. student Gerald Ben Popko, currently at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, ECE Regents’ Professor Tom Gaylord, and GTRI Senior Research Engineer Chris Valenta. According to Gaylord, “Autonomous and self-driving vehicles are the wave of the future. This research shows that appropriate precautions will be necessary to ensure the safety of all drivers.” 

The full news release is available at 


Last revised July 15, 2020