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Sensors for Self-driving Cars Get Smaller

Matt Ball on January 23, 2014 - in Sensors, Transportation

When the auto industry begins selling autonomous, self-driving cars, don’t expect them to look like the test vehicles out on the road today. There won’t be any visible, giant rotating mechanism on the top of your car, filled with lasers, radar systems and other sensing equipment, but instead discrete sensors will be packed inside fascias and other plastic exterior panels.

“The systems are getting smaller,” said Chris Attard, a virtual environment research engineer with Ford Motor Co.’s autonomous driving research group.

The four infrared light — or LiDAR — sensors on Ford’s Fusion hybrid research vehicle now being used for tests on the track and on the road are about half the size of the ones used on first generation systems. And the newest LiDAR units on the market are about half the size of those on the Fusion, Attard pointed out during an interview at the North American International Auto Show’s press preview, Jan. 13-14 in Detroit.

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Matt Ball

About Matt Ball

Matt Ball is founder and editorial director of V1 Media, publisher of Informed Infrastructure, Earth Imaging Journal, Sensors & Systems, Asian Surveying & Mapping and the video news site GeoSpatial Stream.

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