Automotive lidar modelling approach based on material properties and lidar capabilities

Stefan Muckenhuber, Hannes Holzer, Zrinka Bockaj*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Development and validation of reliable environment perception systems for automated driving functions requires the extension of conventional physical test drives with simulations in virtual test environments. In such a virtual test environment, a perception sensor is replaced by a sensor model. A major challenge for state-of-the-art sensor models is to represent the large variety of material properties of the surrounding objects in a realistic manner. Since lidar sensors are considered to play an essential role for upcoming automated vehicles, this paper presents a new lidar modelling approach that takes material properties and corresponding lidar capabilities into account. The considered material property is the incidence angle dependent reflectance of the illuminated material in the infrared spectrum and the considered lidar property its capability to detect a material with a certain reflectance up to a certain range. A new material classification for lidar modelling in the automotive context is suggested, distinguishing between 7 material classes and 23 subclasses. To measure angle dependent reflectance in the infrared spectrum, a new measurement device based on a time of flight camera is introduced and calibrated using Lambertian targets with defined reflectance values at 10% , 50% , and 95% . Reflectance measurements of 9 material subclasses are presented and 488 spectra from the NASA ECOSTRESS library are considered to evaluate the new measurement device. The parametrisation of the lidar capabilities is illustrated by presenting a lidar measurement campaign with a new Infineon lidar prototype and relevant data from 12 common lidar types.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3309
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020


  • Automotive
  • Lidar
  • Material reflectance
  • Sensor model
  • Virtual testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry

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