GM Enhances Self-Driving Car Effort With Deal for Strobe

Ivan Schwartz
October 10, 2017

General Motors has announced the acquisition of lidar technology company Strobe, which will help GM's self-driving auto startup, Cruise Automation further advance the development of its self-driving vehicle.

"Driving in San Francisco is nearly nothing like driving in the suburbs, or other places where self-driving cars are tested", Vogt said in Detroit.

Strobe's lidar technology, accord to Cruise, functions on a single computer chip and has the potential to slash lidar costs by 99 percent.

LiDAR sensors are used for mapping, localization, object identification, and collision avoidance in self-driving cars.

GM plans to merge Strobe with its Cruise Automation unit. Another startup, Luminar, recently revealed the scale of its own operation, and it's also announced that it's working with Toyota Research Institute along with other select partners to add its capabilities to autonomous test vehicles on the road.

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GM views the LIDAR technology as a key factor in developing the vehicle. It uses light to create high-resolution images that provide a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has famously touted LIDAR as "unnecessary" in the context of an autonomous vehicle due to its high cost.

"The successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will be highly dependent on the availability of LIDAR sensors", said Schoenfeld.

Last month, Cruise Automation unveiled a prototype of what it says is a mass-producible vehicle designed with the redundancy and safety requirements necessary to operate without a driver. The vehicle will join Cruise's testing fleets in San Francisco, metropolitan Phoenix and Detroit. One of its board members, Tony Tether, used to run a series of self-driving auto races for the federal government - the DARPA Challenges - that helped create the autonomous vehicle industry.

Fully self-driving vehicles are expected to hit the market in a limited form by around 2020.

Other reports by GizPress

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