December 20, 2021

Peachtree Corners, Georgia deploys its first lidar technology for smart infrastructure

The future of mobility will be centered around a connected infrastructure that can monitor traffic and road conditions in real-time, communicate with vehicles and pedestrians, and promote safer and more efficient transportation for the most vulnerable road users. 

The City of Peachtree Corners in Georgia, the heart of what’s being called “Silicon Orchard,” has brought this vision to life. As the United States’ first smart city environment powered by real-world, city-owned connected infrastructure and 5G, autonomous vehicles carrying residents operate on public streets alongside regular traffic. And those vehicles are communicating with the infrastructure, including Ouster lidar units installed in traffic intersections.

Curiosity Lab is a smart city ecosystem where new technologies are tested and scaled in a real-world environment. Learn more about Curiosity Lab here.

Additional infrastructure includes the country’s first ever “IoT Central Control Room” implemented by a city (where data from all IoT devices across the city’s smart infrastructure is managed, analyzed and acted upon through a single pane of glass), smart poles, DSRC units, dedicated fiber and more. The cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) system, also a first in the United States, was deployed by Qualcomm and the entire 5G-enabled city is powered by T-Mobile. 

In the middle of everyday city life, the municipality’s ‘Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners’ is home to a smart city ecosystem featuring top international technology developers and startups that are developing and proving out new technologies that will shape – and are often already shaping – the future of society. As an official partner of Curiosity Lab, Ouster is working with the city and other private-public partners to test and scale mobility solutions that improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the city. Lidar is becoming a critical piece of infrastructure transformation, and real-world environments such as Curiosity Lab are putting concepts into action and paving the way for the future of mobility.

Ouster’s team installing the first lidar sensor at the Technology Parkway South intersection in Peachtree Corners

Bringing Digital Lidar to Traffic Intersections: Safer, More Efficient Mobility  

Ouster digital lidar was selected by Curiosity Lab to monitor vehicle and pedestrian traffic at select intersections in Peachtree Corners. Deployed alongside Axis cameras, Ouster lidar captures the environment in millimeter-level detail and augments cameras’ detection during nighttime and in inclement weather such as rain.

Pedestrian detected at night on an Ouster lidar versus camera 

Just two Ouster lidar sensors provide full coverage of the large intersection, the crosswalk, and even the curbs, due to the sensors’ combination of high-resolution, range, and 360º field-of-view. By reducing the units needed for full coverage, lidar demonstrates the potential for cities to reduce their total costs of ownership and reduce technical complexity without compromising detection. 

Lidar and camera feed of intersection
Feed of classified vehicles driving through Peachtree, captured on Ouster lidar that augments Axis cameras.

For this test site, Ouster lidar data is processed in real-time by software perception partner Outsight to provide object detection, classification, and tracking of cars, trucks/bus, two-wheelers, and pedestrians. Information also includes object speed and trajectory, exact position, and count. With this anonymous data, cities are able to easily access usable data and implement more advanced applications such as near-miss analysis and V2X. 

Coming next: Digital Lidar for Autonomous Shuttles and V2X Applications 

Equipping infrastructure with lidar prepares Curiosity Lab for the testing of connected vehicles and V2X applications. Level 4 and 5 autonomous shuttles are operating today through the smart city campus, and Ouster expects to be on next-generation autonomous electric shuttles, including the Local Motors Olli shuttle

Lidar-equipped infrastructure and 5G-enabled vehicles can communicate via the campus’ dedicated fiber network, opening up possibilities for real-world testing of C-V2X. For example, shuttles and drivers can receive real-time alerts of detected objects on the road, such as a jaywalking pedestrian or speeding vehicle.

FedEx truck captured on lidar at intersection
FedEx truck rolling through Peachtree Corners, captured on an Ouster lidar. In the future, vehicles will be able to communicate with lidar-equipped infrastructure

“Peachtree Corners is demonstrating what the future of tomorrow looks like with private enterprise and government working together to deploy a full smart city ecosystem. Together with our partners, we can test and prove out technologies in a real-world environment,” said Brandon Branham, Assistant City Manager/Chief Technology Officer of Peachtree Corners. “We’re excited to partner with Ouster which works with hundreds of customers around the world to deploy autonomy and smart infrastructure solutions powered by cutting edge digital lidar technology. We look forward to being a testbed for Ouster’s R&D programs in the ITS space, and to expanding our partnership over time as we both aim to build a safer and more sustainable future.”

Scaling beyond #SiliconOrchard

While Peachtree Corners serves as a testbed for Ouster lidar to implement advanced applications within smart infrastructure, other cities and DOTs are similarly deploying proofs of concept for lidar-enabled connected infrastructure as part of initiatives to create safer roads for vulnerable road users and more efficient streets for all vehicles. 

Contact our team to learn more about how Ouster lidar can transform your city’s infrastructure!