Waymo, an automotive tech development company, has announced to begin selling the custom-designed Lidar sensors that it uses on its self-driving cars to other companies. Lidar sensors measure the distance to target objects by shedding light on them with laser light and measuring the reflected pulses, from the foundation of several driverless car systems.
According to Waymo, its custom lidars have been helpful in making Waymo the first company in the world to put fully autonomous cars on public roads. The company is making these sensors accessible to companies outside of autonomous, where they can attain their own technological breakthroughs. Waymo’s newly announced 3D lidar sensor, named Laser Bear Honeycomb, is now available to select partners. Its Laser Bear Honeycomb has a range of benefits over run-of-the-mill 3D lidar sensors. It possesses a vertical field of view of 95 degrees, in place of the standard 30 degrees, and a 360-degree horizontal view. When it conveys out a pulse of light, its system can see up to four objects in a laser beam’s line of sight, both the foliage in front of a tree branch and the tree branch itself, for instance. Furthermore, the sensor has a minimum range of zero, which means it is capable of observing objects instantly in front of it and allowing capabilities like near-object detection and avoidance.
Recently, Waymo also introduced its commercial autonomous car service, which the company calls Waymo One, in Phoenix, Arizona. In October last year, it became the first company to achieve the consent of fully driverless car service in California, where it received the green light to test its driverless cars on public roads. Further, Waymo claimed that its cars have driven 10 million miles autonomously on public roads in 25 states, and 7 billion simulated miles.