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High-Tech Sensors May Be Key to Autonomous Cars

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AdaSkys Viper cameras use far infrared sensors to create a more accurate picture for autonomous vehicles.

Self-driving cars cant begin to figure out whats around them separating toddlers from traffic cones, for example if they cant see the objects in the first place.

Credit: Adasky

Autonomous vehicle developers' standard vehicle perception approach is to combine video cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors, and LiDAR, yet driverless cars' ability to safely maneuver in traffic and see ahead clearly in all weather conditions remains limited.

Some companies are considering the use of high-tech sensors to address this issue, like "far infrared" cameras that detect thermal wavelengths below the visible spectrum, to perceive people and objects in low-visibility conditions.

Another technology under consideration is ground-penetrating radar facilitated by sensors on a vehicle's underbelly, which generate a digital signature to ascertain the car's location at any time.

Meanwhile, companies like Luminar and Blackmore Sensors and Analytics are trying to upgrade LiDAR to detect higher wavelengths, and widen the range and perceptive ability of longer-range systems that can see through light rain and snow.

From The New York Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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