Distance Between Cars More Lidar Wizardry
I’ve previously lauded the beauty of lidar over radar. One way to compare the two technologies would be like comparing a light saber (lidar) to a broadsword (radar). To further cover the virtues of lidar, let’s look at a very unique and incredibly useful function offered by Laser Technology Inc. and their UltraLyte 100LR DBC (Distance Between Cars). Think of it as having the ability to launch light grenades from your aforementioned light saber. Follow along, Skywalker.
Cold And Calculating
What’s the safe speed when two vehicles are traveling at a distance of 45′? I’ll give you a hint … it ain’t the posted speed limit of 45 mph. At that speed, a vehicle travels at 66 fps. The industry standard for perception/reaction time is 1.5 seconds, meaning it takes .75 seconds to perceive something and an additional .75 seconds to react to it. Consequently, at 45 mph a vehicle will travel about 99′ in that time, which is more than twice the distance the two vehicles in the example above had between them. Yes, 45′ may seem like quite a bit, and it may even seem to be a safe distance. It is — if you’re only going 20.45 mph.
Another benefit of the DBC is the ability to shoot vehicles coming or going. So long as you can put the red aiming dot on either the front or the rear of both vehicles (must be the same location on both of them), it’s good to go. One of the safeguards offered by LTI is the inability to manipulate the lidar. You’re required to shoot both vehicles within 3 seconds or it times out and the vehicles must be shot again.
Another significant safeguard is the maximum speed difference between the two vehicles is 5 mph. This prevents a “slingshot” effect from a vehicle quickly closing the gap on the vehicle in front of it. Although, you could argue the lack of safety in that particular instance, the DBC is better suited for a consistently dangerous situation lasting much longer than a momentary lapse in judgment.
By Jason Hoschouer
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