Efficient Virtual Testing of Real Sensor Technologies

Lidar RSI completes real-time capable sensor models in the CarMaker product family release 8.0

Sensor technology as part of future forms of mobility such as automated driving will continue to rise in importance. Deploying sensors for environment detection in driver assistance systems requires a huge test scope within the development process since the reliable and robust performance of the sensors must be ensured in any conceivable scenario. As a result, virtual test driving for the validation of functions in simulation is assuming an ever-greater role. With the release 8.0 of the CarMaker product family, IPG Automotive has added the Lidar Raw Signal Interface (Lidar RSI) to its extensive sensor portfolio. The Lidar RSI is a physical sensor model based on ray tracing that is suited for detailed modeling of lidar sensors. With this latest addition, users now have access to virtual models of all physical sensor technologies in the simulation solution.

A lidar determines the distance to its surrounding objects by measuring the time of flight. The CarMaker product family release 8.0 enables virtual modeling as well as the individual definition of specific lidar properties using a variety of parameters. This allows users to define the mounting position and orientation, cycle time or transmission power, for instance, and even the beam pattern. In addition, it is possible to model rotating lidar systems for 360-degree surround view.

For tests of the algorithms or assistance systems downstream, properties of the objects to be detected can be modeled, such as transmissive, retroreflective, diffuse or specular reflection types as well as reflectance dependent on the objects’ colors. The intensity of the reflected beam is compared using a threshold-based method for which the threshold itself can be parameterized as well in order to adjust the sensitivity of the receiver unit. “With the option of real-time capable modeling and generation of raw signals from radar, lidar, camera and ultrasonic sensors, our software solutions offer all that is needed for the virtual development of raw data based fusion and detection algorithms or driving functions based on these,” explained Dr. Andreas Höfer, Product Manager Simulation Software at IPG Automotive. Whether the tests focus on detecting objects or on the resulting decisions, the sources of errors can be identified and eliminated at an early stage of development.

Parallel tests on multiple GPUs

In order to accelerate tests with the new Lidar RSI as well as established sensor models, the release 8.0 enables the parallel use of multiple GPUs. This allows real-time tests of extensive sensor configurations such as those needed for (semi)autonomous driving. If large test catalogs are involved, parallel testing is possible on an HPC system or in the cloud with multiple GPUs.

Lidar RSI

Detailed modeling of lidar sensors with the Lidar RSI