Characterizing Perspective Error in Voxel-Based Lidar Scan Matching

Jason H. Rife and Matthew McDermott

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: This paper quantifies an error source that limits the accuracy of lidar scan matching, particularly for voxel-based methods. Lidar scan matching, which is used in dead reckoning (also known as lidar odometry) and mapping, computes the rotation and translation that best align a pair of point clouds. Perspective errors occur when a scene is viewed from different angles, with different surfaces becoming visible or occluded from each viewpoint. To explain perspective anomalies observed in data, this paper models perspective errors for two objects representative of urban landscapes: a cylindrical column and a dual-wall corner. For each object, we provide an analytical model of the perspective error for voxel-based lidar scan matching. We then analyze how perspective errors accumulate as a lidar-equipped vehicle moves past these objects.
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