Self-driving cars keep rolling closer to the mainstream.
For example, Ford plans to launch an autonomous vehicle by 2021, and is investing $1 billion in the startup Argo AI to make it happen, according to Marketplace Tech.
As a supplier of parts to companies developing self-driving cars, we’re interested in advances in this growing segment within the larger automotive industry.
One of those advances is lidar, a laser-based sensing technology, which is emerging as central to the development of the next generation of self-driving cars.
The optical technology’s name—lidar—stands for “light detection and ranging.” As Optics.org recently explained, lidar is analogous to radar but relies on infrared light instead of radio waves.
Lidar technology units are showing up mounted on the roofs of both experimental self-driving cars being developed by Google and others, and on cars with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which are being tested by Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and other OEMs. Continue reading