The team at the Nokia HERE mapping service is offering some insight into the view of the complex LIDAR system used to help create models for self-driving cars. Used in tandem with GPS and cameras on its mapping cars, the LIDAR system uses 32 laser beams to collect 700,000 data points a second.
An inertial sensor tracks the pitch, roll, and yaw of the car so that the lidar data can be corrected for the position of the car and used to create a 3-D model of the roads it has traveled. The lidar instrument’s range tops out about 10-15 stories above the street. At street level, its resolution is just a few centimeters.