A novel algorithm to track closely spaced road vehicles using a low density flash lidar

Vimal Kumar, Shankar C. Subramanian, Rajesh Rajamani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper develops a novel algorithm for tracking closely-spaced road vehicles using a low-density flash lidar. Low-density flash lidars are recent to the automotive market and have attracted attention due to their low cost. However, these sensors have a poor angular resolution which makes tracking the lateral motion of targets challenging. One such challenge, namely unresolved measurements from multiple vehicles, is addressed in this paper. Detections from multiple targets can become unresolved if the targets are closely spaced. Traditional tracking algorithms, which do not account for unresolved measurements, lead to degraded tracking performance in such scenarios. This paper proposes a novel method based on predicting the lateral motion states of targets forward in time, and truncating their probability density functions at points based on the unresolved measurements. The method proposed works with a computationally simple data association algorithm, requires no sensor modeling, and can track more than two closely spaced targets. The proposed algorithm is evaluated using simulations and on-road experiments, and the results demonstrate its capability in maintaining target tracks even in the presence of unresolved detections. Further, a comparison with the well known Joint Probabilistic Data Association-Merged algorithm showed that the proposed algorithm is computationally lighter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108360
JournalSignal Processing
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research supported by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, through the grant EDD/14-15/023/MOLE/NILE.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Flash lidar
  • Kalman filter
  • Target tracking
  • Unresolved measurements


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