LSA Autonomy’s Overhead Wire Laser-Detector, the OWL, is a 3D LiDAR sensor-based technology and software system designed to detect overhead obstacles for oversize transports.

By applying LSA Autonomy’s sensor processing software to Velodyne’s LiDAR’s HDL-32E real-time 3D LiDAR sensor, the Owl detects any overhanging obstacles that might interfere with special transports of oversize objects.

When the system detects that a clearance is insufficient it alerts the operator in real-time with audible and visual warnings while providing photographic imaging for clarity. The system is designed to replace measured poles that are in common use for detecting obstacles for oversized loads. Some companies have cars with telescopic poles attached to the front bumpers while others poles are carried by employees on foot.

The OWL is magnetically mounted to the roof of a vehicle and plugged into a laptop on the passenger side. A threshold is keyed into the system based on the height of the object being transported to set parameters for the system. The OWL then takes 32 measurements across the road 10 times per second to provide precise height measurements of any potentially threatening clearances.

The system works at highway speeds, making it a useful tool for pre-transport route surveys. However, when in use for real-time alerting, the driver must drive at 25 miles per hour or slower to allow for sufficient stopping times.