Laser Breakthrough Could Speed the Rise of Self-Driving Cars
The eyes of a self-driving car are called LIDAR sensors. LIDAR is a portmanteau of “light” and “radar.” In essence, these sensors monitor their surroundings by shining a light on an object and measuring the time needed for it to bounce back. They work well enough, but they aren’t without their drawbacks. Today’s self-driving cars typically use LIDARs that are quite large and expensive. Google, for instance, used $80,000 LIDARs with its early designs.