Technology Argo AI says its latest LiDAR sensor has a 400-meter range
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has made some waves in the autonomous vehicle space over the last few years, with investors and working on cars that use its self-driving tech. The company suggests it's taken a significant step towards bringing autonomous vehicles to roads. Argo created a sensor that's said to have a range of 400 meters, which it it the longest range of any current LiDAR sensor.
The Argo Self-Driving System (SDS) can detect hard-to-see objects with more precision and at a greater distance, the company claims. It can seemingly spot far-away objects that have low reflectivity (less than one percent of light) even at night and scan the environment with photorealistic imaging. Among Argo's other claims is that the SDS can handle sudden transitions in light levels — for instance, when a vehicle enters or leaves a tunnel — and detect small, moving objects such as animals.
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With SDS staying aware of its surroundings at any time of day, it can safely operate vehicles on city streets, in the suburbs and on highways, according to Argo. The company's CEO Bryan Salesky says the system "takes us to a whole new level of self-driving technology, unlocking our ability to power both delivery and ride-hail services."
At the core of Argo's LiDAR is “Geiger-mode” sensing, which is said to be capable of detecting single photons of light. That was meshed with a high-wavelength operation of above 1,400 nanometers. The system is based around a single sensor, which was designed to be cost effective and for manufacturing at scale.
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Argo is testing the sensor in some Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans and Ford Escape Hybrid SUVs, according to. By the end of the year, Argo plans to shift its test fleet entirely to 150 or so Escape Hybrids, which will all have the sensor.
The tech could be on its way to commercial Ford and VW vehicles in the near future. Fordto roll out robotaxis and self-driving delivery vehicles next year, though VW won't start AV commercial operations .
The range of Argo's LiDAR system could be surpassed in the future, however. Continental and AEyethey're working on a sensor with a range of up to a kilometer, but it likely won't go into production until 2024.
Luminar will bring its LiDAR tech to Airbus planes and helicopters .
Luminar is expanding its LiDAR system beyond autonomous vehicles for the first time. It has announced a partnership with Airbus to bring the laser-guided 3D-mapping tech to helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft with the goal of making flying much safer. Engineers from both companies will work together on two Airbus innovation programs, the UpNext subsidiary and FlightLab. Luminar and Airbus hope to eventually power safe, autonomous flight. “We’reEngineers from both companies will work together on two Airbus innovation programs, the UpNext subsidiary and FlightLab. Luminar and Airbus hope to eventually power safe, autonomous flight.