What is LiDAR?

  • November 22, 2022
Autonomous car at a crossroad


1. What is LiDAR Technology?

2. What are the Top 5 Uses of LiDAR?

3. How will LiDAR help reduce dangerous driving?

4. What’s the difference between camera and LiDAR sensors?

5. Are autonomous vehicles with LiDAR already on the road?

6. What makes Innoviz’s LiDAR technology safe?

7. What makes Innoviz’s LiDAR data and scanning better?

What is LiDAR Technology?

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. LiDAR technology enables automated vehicles to “see” their surroundings and measure their distance from obstacles so they can avoid them.

How? By using light to create 3D point cloud maps based on an object’s relative distance to its surroundings.

It also has endless uses beyond automotive — LiDAR improves iPhone 12 photo quality, monitors traffic and pedestrian safety from streetlamps, surveys food production, and more!

What are the Top 5 Uses of LiDAR?

1. Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

LiDAR sensors improve the safety and performance of AVs by developing an accurate 3D map of a vehicle’s surroundings, preventing collisions.

2. Agriculture

LiDAR helps improve agricultural management by mapping variations in slope and elevation in terrain.

3. Underwater terrain surveying

LiDAR records 3D point clouds above the water line to enhance a variety of waterway surveys.

4. Modeling Pollution Detection

LiDAR is used to determine how pollutants mix with the atmosphere to help determine air quality over time.

5. Construction

Performing well under harsh conditions such as construction sites, LiDAR helps reduce employee safety risks with heavy machinery.

Discover more practical applications and use cases for LiDAR technology from Innoviz.

How will LiDAR help reduce dangerous driving?

Distracted drivers are the top cause of car crashes in the US, even when assisted with driving technology like Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which is installed in most cars today. Higher levels of autonomy that are expected to be available over the next decade should have the potential to mitigate distracted driving.

LiDAR as part of a sensor fusion system adds another “eye” to the road, especially when human eyes wander elsewhere.

What does autonomous driving look like? It looks like a mother spending more time with her kids & a worker relaxing during his/her commute without the stress of driving.

LiDAR and AVs have the potential to eliminate all traffic fatalities & severe injuries while creating safe, equitable mobility for all. Get in touch with Innoviz to discover how our LiDAR technology is accelerating change.

What’s the difference between camera and LiDAR sensors?

Cameras are like the human eye; they rely on sunlight and “see” in 2D. A LiDAR sensor’s output is in 3D and it works independently of sunlight when cameras and drivers cannot: at night, in the rain, entering or exiting tunnels, despite direct sunlight or headlights from oncoming cars, etc.

Learn more about the ongoing debate within the automotive industry on the role of cameras and LiDAR sensors in enabling a safe AV future.

Are autonomous vehicles with LiDAR already on the road?

Yes! We believe consumer AVs that don’t require drivers to take over the wheel are a decade away. However, autonomous shuttles and tractors operating in geofenced areas, robotaxis, autonomous robots, and drones, etc. are currently in the real world, and LiDAR is critical for these applications.

Hear from Innoviz CEO and Co-founder Omer Keilaf on the future of AVs; originally aired on Squawk Alley (CNBC).

What makes Innoviz’s LiDAR technology safe?

We took zero shortcuts. Our LiDAR is designed and tested to withstand the 15+ years of wear and tear that is expected of any other car part. We also have layers of safety mechanisms and redundancies that activate if something does go wrong. This is why BMW chose us.

Explore the Innoviz product line including our solid-state, automotive-grade LiDAR InnovizTwo.

LiDAR for Drones and Aeriel Surveying

LiDAR technology has become a key player when it comes to aerial mapping and surveying. Licapabilities combine laser-based remote sensing with unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs). LiDAR-equipped drone technology has opened up new opportunities to acquire highly accurate, geospatial data.

This state-of-the-art technology enables efficient 3D mapping of terrain, infrastructure, vegetation, and other features. This helps to transform the way we analyze and visualize the Earth’s surface.

Urban planning, environmental monitoring, disaster response, and infrastructure development all can benefit a great deal from LiDAR-equipped drone technology.

UAVs with LiDAR technology offer a cost-effective and versatile solution for capturing comprehensive spatial information, revolutionizing the world of aerial surveying.



What makes Innoviz’s LiDAR data and scanning better?

For LiDAR it’s not about who has the best performance full stop, it’s about who can produce high-quality units at scale at the right price ASAP. Innoviz’s LiDAR and perception software are in the hands of customers today & they’re also available to demo for any skeptics out there. Learn more about perception and why it matters.

Ready to revolutionize transportation and accelerate the future of autonomous vehicles? Connect with our team to learn how.