Liu, Z., Deng, W., Li, Y., Jiang, L. et al., "Physical Modeling Method on Ultrasonic Sensors for Virtual Intelligent Driving," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-1901, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-1901.
Environmental sensing and perception is one of the key technologies on intelligent driving or autonomous vehicles. As a complementary part to current radar and lidar sensors, ultrasonic sensor has become more and more popular due to its high value to the cost. Different from other sensors mainly based on propagation of electromagnetic wave, ultrasonic sensor possesses some unique features and physical characteristics that bring many merits to autonomous vehicle research, like transparent obstacles and highly reflective surfaces detection. Its low-cost property can further bring down hardware cost to foster widespread use of intelligent driving or autonomous vehicles. To accelerate the development of autonomous vehicle, this paper proposes a high fidelity ultrasonic sensor model based on its physical characteristics, including obstacle detection, distance measurement and signal attenuation. Ultrasonic sensor model is simulated under PanoSim, a virtual driving environment and testing platform for vehicle intelligence technologies, which demonstrate that the proposed modeling method is effective and the developed model has sufficient fidelity.