by Steve Hannon
I read an interesting article about Mobile Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Technology on the LiDAR News website today. It was written by Ted Knaak of Certainty 3D. It is Ted’s perspective that adoption of mobile LiDAR scanning technology by transportation agencies is driven more by organizational issues rather than the hardware and software. I share that perspective wholeheartedly. He draws some valid conclusions and makes instructive recommendations to improve the rate of adoption. I think Ted’s on the right track here in many respects, but I believe there are a couple fundamental perspectives to bring to bear that would improve understanding and might open the door to additional strategies to gain market traction.
The article cites the tremendous improvements in efficiency that appear to be enabled by LiDAR surveying technology: a 10x improvement in the number of scans that can be completed in a day, 80% reduction in required field time, a half-million data points per second at speeds of 45-50 mph for ground-mobile units, and even more staggering numbers for airborne systems. However, despite these impressive performance numbers, transportation infrastructure projects have been resistant to widespread adoption of the technology.
Ted had an informative discussion with a state surveyor from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The perspectives expressed by the FDOT surveyor were tremendously valuable and drove Ted to consider a much broader view of the customer’s ecosystem. I will get to Ted’s recommendations in a moment, but first a sidebar.
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