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GM Buys Lidar Startup Strobe to Help It Deliver Self-Driving Cars

WIRED

General Motors just took another step to prepare itself for the future of driving, acquiring a startup that makes what could prove a key technology to unlock self-driving cars for use in fleets. Cruise, GM's self-driving car startup, will now source its lidar laser sensors from Strobe, a Pasadena-based startup that the Detroit automaker just acquired. GM did not disclose the terms of the deal, which it announced Monday morning, but it's a potentially crucial move in its plan to deploy large fleets of robocars, given the importance of the sensor, and the difficulty of making it not just robust and reliable, but cost effective. "Our mission is to remove the driver from the vehicle and ultimately deploy these vehicles at massive scale," says Cruise founder and CEO Kyle Vogt. "Lidar sensors have been one of the bottlenecks."


Tesla crash raises stakes for self-driving vehicle startups

#artificialintelligence

DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO, July 12 (Reuters) - Concerns raised by the first reported fatality in a semi-automated car were expected to speed adoption of more sensitive technology to help vehicles see and drive themselves safely, increasing demand on the emerging autonomous vehicle technology industry, investors and analysts said. Goldman Sachs forecasts the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles will grow from about 3 billion last year to 96 billion in 2025 and 290 billion in 2035. More than half of that revenue in 20 years, Goldman estimates, will come from radar, cameras and lidar, a sensor that uses laser - all tools considered essential to building vehicles that can pilot themselves. The May 7 death of Ohio technology company owner Joshua Brown in a Tesla Motors Inc Model S while the car's semi-automated Autopilot system was engaged highlighted the limitations of current automated driving systems. Tesla's Autopilot system uses cameras and radar, but not lidar.


Tesla crash raises stakes for self-driving vehicle startups

#artificialintelligence

DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Concerns raised by the first reported fatality in a semi-automated car were expected to speed adoption of more sensitive technology to help vehicles see and drive themselves safely, increasing demand on the emerging autonomous vehicle technology industry, investors and analysts said. Goldman Sachs forecasts the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles will grow from about 3 billion last year to 96 billion in 2025 and 290 billion in 2035. More than half of that revenue in 20 years, Goldman estimates, will come from radar, cameras and lidar, a sensor that uses laser – all tools considered essential to building vehicles that can pilot themselves. The May 7 death of Ohio technology company owner Joshua Brown in a Tesla Motors Inc Model S while the car's semi-automated Autopilot system was engaged highlighted the limitations of current automated driving systems. Tesla's Autopilot system uses cameras and radar, but not lidar.


A chaotic market for one sensor stalls self-driving cars

#artificialintelligence

With the notable exception of Elon Musk's Tesla Inc, most automakers have said their self-driving cars will rely on a detection system known as lidar. The state of the art sensors use laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the car. Pressure to launch self-driving cars is already pushing many players to place bets on the technology. General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and BMW are expected to deploy sensors from well-funded lidar startups Velodyne and Innoviz on their initial self-driving cars over the next two years. More than $1 billion in corporate and private investment has been plowed into some 50 lidar startups over the past three years, including a record $420 million in 2018, according to a Reuters analysis of publicly available investment data.


Hyundai's Automated Car Strategy Prioritizes Cost -- And Realistic Timing

Forbes - Tech

As tech and auto companies vie for leadership in self-driving vehicle technology, Hyundai Motor's top priority isn't how fast it can be perfected. Its bigger concerns are keeping costs low enough for the technology to be attainable by mass-market buyers; ensuring people wary of advanced driving-assist systems are comfortable with fully automated cars; and solutions for legal, regulatory and security issues that will dictate how soon robotic vehicles can be deployed. South Korea's largest automaker, which gained U.S. market share in the past decade by adding high-tech content ahead of (and often for less cost) than mass-market competitors, said it will be ready to go head-to-head with rivals in the autonomous vehicle space. And underscoring its approach, prototype vehicles being tested in Nevada and Korea look surprisingly similar to retail versions now hitting the market. "Some companies are announcing very aggressive timelines.