3D Virtual Sight Distance Analysis using Lidar Data

This research project investigated advanced safety analysis methodologies for drivers’ sight distance based on high resolution data acquired using lidar (light detection and ranging) technology. Sight distance analyses require careful and detailed field measurements to facilitate proper engineering decision making regarding the removal of obstructions, establishment of regulatory and advisory speed limits, and the location of new access points, among numerous other examples. However, conventional field measurements present safety concerns because they require personnel to be in or adjacent to traffic lanes. They can also be time consuming, costly, and labor intensive. Furthermore, the predominantly two-dimensional (2D) methods involve simplifying assumptions such as a “standard” vehicle heights and lengths without considering the wide range of vehicles and drivers present on the road. Recently, departments of transportation have begun to acquire mobile lidar data for their roadway assets. As an example, Oregon DOT has recently completed scan surveys of all state owned and maintained highways and updates of high priority areas annually. These data provide a rich, three dimensional (3D) environment that enables one to virtually visit a site at any frequency and efficiently evaluate sight distances from the safety of the office. This research presents a systematic processing and analysis workflow for virtually evaluating available sight distances by using lidar data sets named SiDAL (Sight Distance Analysis using Lidar). This approach enables repeated analysis of the same scene while considering a variety of vehicle types as well as multimodal forms of transportation (e.g., bikes, pedestrians). The sensitivity of this technique to modeling resolution was analyzed by using a case study of an intersection with restricted visibility. The results showed the ability to capture significantly more detail about visibility constraints in comparison to conventional measurements.

  • Record URL:
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  • Corporate Authors:

    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700

    Oregon State University, Corvallis

    Department of Civil and Construction Engineering
    Corvallis, WA  United States  97331

    University Transportation Center Region 10

    More Hall 112
    Box 352700
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Olsen, Michael J
    • Hurwitz, David S
    • Kashani, Alireza G
    • Buker, Kamilah
  • Publication Date: 2016-10-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 92p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675305
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Jul 5 2018 12:10PM