Monday, September 27, 2021
News Argo AI Announces Self-Driving Car Lidar Breakthrough

Argo AI Announces Self-Driving Car Lidar Breakthrough

New lidar breakthrough could make self-driving reality

  • New lidar sensors can detect smallest amount of light possible

  • Can see up to 400m down road, 360 view from singlesensor


Argo AI, with major investments from Ford and Volkswagen, has just announced a new Lidar sensor that it says “has overcome the limitations preventing most competitors from commercializing autonomous delivery and ride-hail services.” The sensor can see farther down the road, day and night, in 360-degrees, and could be the next step in putting self-driving cars into use.

The breakthrough is called the Argo Self-Driving System, and it can see 360-degrees, in every direction around the vehicle, thanks to a new innovation Argo calls Geiger-mode sensing. Lidar sensors bounce light waves off of objects in order to “see” the world around them, and the Geiger-mode lidar sensor is capable of detecting one single photon. The smallest particle of light.

That ability, along with higher-wavelength light operation can see “the darkest of black-painted vehicles.” Vehicles that reflect less than 1 percent of light. Even at distances of 400m – believed to be the longest in the industry – and in pitch-black night.

Argo says the new system can also see down side roads, allowing left turns on high-speed roads, and can handle transitions from dark to bright light, like a tunnel. More importantly for commercialisation, the system uses just a single lidar sensor.

This doesn’t mean self-driving cars are around the corner, but the first Argo Lidar sensors are being tested on-road now in the US. The company is looking for a manufacturer who can handle mass production, and has volume production plans with both Ford and the Volkswagen Group.

 

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