Navigating the future: A comprehensive survey of localization systems in autonomous vehicles

Xiaowen Tao, Pengxiang Meng, Bing Zhu, Jian Zhao

Article ID: 2627
Vol 5, Issue 1, 2024
VIEWS - 80 (Abstract)


This survey paper provides an in-depth analysis of localization systems for autonomous vehicles (AVs), a cornerstone technology crucial for the safe and efficient operation of AVs. The paper encompasses a comprehensive examination of various localization technologies, their comparative analysis, the challenges they face, and the emerging trends shaping their future. We begin by exploring the principal technologies employed in AV localization: GPS, LiDAR, radar, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors. Each technology is scrutinized to understand its strengths, weaknesses, and applicability in different environmental contexts. GPS offers broad geographical positioning but struggles with precision in dense urban areas. LiDAR provides high-resolution mapping but is hindered by adverse weather conditions. Radar ensures reliability in poor visibility but lacks the finer details provided by optical systems. Cameras offer rich visual data but are dependent on lighting conditions, and ultrasonic sensors, while effective for close-range detection, are limited to low-speed applications. The paper then presents a comparative analysis of these technologies against key performance metrics such as accuracy, reliability, latency, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. This analysis is critical in understanding the suitability of each technology for various driving scenarios, from congested urban streets to open highways and in diverse weather conditions. Challenges in AV localization are multifaceted, encompassing technological, environmental, and system integration issues. Technological challenges include sensor limitations and computational constraints, while environmental factors like weather and urban infrastructure significantly impact localization accuracy. System integration poses another significant challenge, necessitating seamless interaction between localization systems and other vehicle control systems for real-time decision-making. Emerging trends and potential solutions to these challenges are discussed, highlighting advancements in sensor technology, AI, machine learning, and 5G communications. These developments promise to overcome existing limitations and enhance the accuracy and reliability of AV localization. The integration of localization systems with smart city infrastructures and the implementation of collaborative technologies like V2X communication are speculated to further augment AV capabilities. In conclusion, the paper emphasizes that the future of AV localization is intrinsically linked to the continuous evolution of technologies and their integration. Addressing current challenges and harnessing emerging trends are pivotal for the advancement of AVs, steering us toward a future of autonomous transportation characterized by increased safety, efficiency, and reliability.


autonomous vehicles; localization systems; GPS; LiDAR; radar; cameras; ultrasonic sensors; sensor fusion; machine learning; 5G communications; smart cities; autonomous transportation

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