By Bryan Salesky, CEO, Argo AI
We can’t talk about a future of self-driving cars without mentioning LiDAR technology — and we won’t be able to build that future without it. These sensors are crucial to creating a three-dimensional view of the world that helps autonomous vehicles find where they are on the road and detect other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
To accelerate our mission to realize the self-driving future, Argo has acquired Princeton Lightwave, a company with extensive experience in the development and commercialization of LiDAR sensors. The technology that underpins their lineup of LiDAR sensors — which already serve the commercial mapping and defense industries — will help us extend the range and resolution needed to achieve self-driving capability in challenging urban environments. Princeton Lightwave’s technology also complements and expands the capability of LiDAR sensors already available to the automotive industry today.
With the addition of the Princeton Lightwave team, Argo is uniquely positioned to innovate in both sensor hardware and the interface between sensor and software — enabling us to achieve performance improvements that would not otherwise be possible. Princeton Lightwave’s technology will help us unlock new capabilities that will aid our virtual driver system in handling object detection in challenging scenarios, such as poor weather conditions, and safely operating at high speeds in dynamic environments.
As we’ve talked about before, even considering how far we’ve come in bringing about a world of self-driving cars, there’s still much we need to accomplish. We are constantly exploring how to increase the range, resolution and field of view of LiDAR, but we’re also looking to lower costs and manufacture these sensors at scale. We have to continue making improvements through dedicated research and development that’s aligned with our overall hardware and software strategy.
Our expanded team remains focused on accelerating the development of a virtual driver system that’s mandated for SAE levels four and five autonomous driving — meaning there’s no driver behind the wheel. By collaborating with our in-house hardware and software developers, as well as our supply base, we will work to create LiDAR sensors that not only meet the demanding performance required for high volume production, but also are affordable.
Argo’s expansion serves to expedite our mission to commercialize and deploy self-driving cars at scale. To our talented new team members from Princeton Lightwave: Welcome aboard! We’re thrilled to embrace your expertise as we all work together to build an exciting future of autonomous vehicles.
How Acquiring a Team of LiDAR Experts Strengthens our Self-Driving Future was originally published in Self-Driven on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.