General Motors Co seems to be getting a bit more serious about self-driving cars. The company has just acquired LIDAR technology company Strobe, Inc. The intent is to use Stobe’s know-how in LIDAR to help GM develop future solutions for self-driving cars. The technology uses light to create high-res images which they say is a more accurate view than regular cameras and radar.
“Strobe’s LIDAR technology will significantly improve the cost and capabilities of our vehicles so that we can more quickly accomplish our mission to deploy driverless vehicles at scale,” said Kyle Vogt, Founder, and CEO, Cruise Automation.
“The successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will be highly dependent on the availability of LIDAR sensors,” said Julie Schoenfeld, Founder, and CEO, Strobe, Inc. “Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by numerous patents will play a significant role in helping GM and Cruise bring these vehicles to market sooner than many think.”
Last month, Cruise Automation revealed the world’s first mass-producible car 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.
It makes sense that General Motors would invest into these new technologies as the auto industry continues to change. While self-driving cars in a mass scale are probably many years away, research and development should be done years in advance. It will be interesting to see where all the major automakers fall when self-driving cars finally start being used en masse. For now, there is much to test and you’ll likely see the tech only in small beta test areas.