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Laser System Partnership Sets Sights on Ending Toll Road Delays

A new technology partnership is set to transform road tolling for both providers and motorists alike by utilizing the latest advances in lidar technology and data analytics.

Cepton Technologies, Inc. has collaborated with industrial perception and machine learning experts, MechaSpin, to develop a lidar-based solution that produces detailed 3D classification of vehicles in real time for automated tolling applications. This next-generation solution combines Cepton’s Sora-P60 with MechaSpin’s MSx software to enable immediate profiling and classification of vehicles at highway speeds in a wide range of weather and lighting conditions.

Traditional tolling systems often depend on physical infrastructure to reduce vehicle speed, or tollbooths to allow for manual processing, which can cause congestion and frustration amongst motorists. Advanced systems that allow for faster tolling, however, are often subject to abuses such as leakage, while road-based sensors often fail due to wear and tear.

Cepton and MechaSpin’s solution addresses such challenges by eliminating the need for physical infrastructure while providing accurate data, such as vehicle velocity, size and axle count, in a format that can be integrated with other sensor, data capture and billing systems. At the same time, the hardware is designed for aerial installation and contains minimal moving parts, reducing the likelihood of failure.

Neil Huntingdon, Cepton’s VP of Business Development, said: “Our partnership with MechaSpin is founded on both businesses’ deep understanding of the unique and powerful capabilities of lidar, especially when it is teamed with problem solving software solutions.

“We believe that this partnership will bring major innovations to the tolling industry. Our Sora-P60 lidar delivers an unrivalled scan speed at 380Hz, making it possible to profile vehicles as they pass at highway speeds. Our partnership with MechaSpin will allow for faster, more accurate and lower cost management of our transport infrastructure as the number of vehicles continues to grow globally.”

Danny Kent, PhD, MechaSpin’s President, added: “The tolling industry lacks an integrated end-to-end solution for deploying 3D lidar for vehicle classification and tracking. MechaSpin and Cepton have partnered to deliver a solution for this need. Cepton's lidar technology coupled with MechaSpin's MSx Processing Engine offers a robust solution for tolling, intermodal and other transportation industry applications.”

Cepton will be showcasing its state-of-the-art lidar solutions at the 26th ITS World Congress in Singapore from October 21 to October 25, 2019. Please visit Cepton’s booth (B04) for more information or to arrange a live demo.

Founded in 2016 by Dr. Jun Pei and Dr. Mark McCord, Cepton is the only company in the industry to ship high-performance and low-cost lidar sensors directly to customers.

Lidar technology is not new, however its usage across industries is growing thanks to its power efficient, environmentally agnostic qualities. Like bats, which use sound waves during echolocation to measure distances and determine the location of an object, lidar utilises light waves from a laser to send a pulse of light and measure the amount of time it takes to reflect back from objects, making it possible to measure the distance between them. Since the speed of light is constant, distance can be easily calculated by measuring the time it takes for the beam to return.

Lidar systems use these pulses to create three-dimensional point clouds of their surrounding area, providing cars and other smart machines with highly accurate perception data to autonomously navigate.

Cepton's Micro Motion Technology (MMT™) is unique to the industry. Unlike traditional beam-steering technologies, such as spinning lidar and micro-electronical mechanical systems (MEMS), Cepton’s MMT architecture enables a mirrorless, frictionless and rotation-free system to increase the durability, reliability and manufacturability of the product, while delivering industry-leading range and resolution for highly accurate 3D sensing.

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