Assessing the effects of severe winter weather on automotive lidar

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) operating outside of fair-weather conditions will inevitably encounter winter weather. In populous cities like Boston, Chicago, New York, Detroit and many others, this weather may sometimes be severe. Severe winter weather conditions are characterized by low temperatures, freezing rain, and snow. Over the span of three years we have collected over forty terabytes of severe winter weather driving data in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan featuring seven different AV or automotive focused lidars. In this work we summarize the effects of falling and blowing snow and other precipitation on lidar and its implications for AVs as well as some approaches for mitigating these effects.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering