Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lidar on a chip

Autonomous vehicles use laser range finders (lidar) to map their surroundings, often combined with radar.  Radar units are relatively small and inexpensive with no moving parts, but lidar has tended to be large and expensive (e.g. $70,000) with moving parts (something to break down).  They are the large, rotating objects on autonomous vehicle roofs.  MIT working with DARPA has shrunk lidar to a chip with no moving parts and a projected cost of $10 each -- a massive improvement:

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