Aurora has long said that the safest approach to building self-driving technology is by using different sensor modalities — cameras, radar, and of course, lidar. Now Aurora plans to acquire the industry-leading lidar company Blackmore, located in Bozeman, Montana. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles and Autonomous Vehicles in Mining 2018-2028.
Lidar is critical for developing a reliable self-driving system that can navigate roads more safely than a human driver. Different sensor modalities have different strengths and weaknesses; thus, incorporating multiple modalities drives dramatic improvements in the reliability of the system.
Aurora's collective experience building self-driving systems gives us an incredible advantage in self-driving vehicle technology. Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) is a next generation lidar technology that further advances Aurora Driver.
Blackmore's pioneering work in FMCW technology has illuminated the future of automotive lidar. Blackmore starts with photonic hardware proven in the optical fiber communications industry. Signal processing then maximizes FMCW's advantages of high dynamic range, single photon sensitivity, and interference immunity — technical jargon that translates into real safety margin, chip-level scalability, and all-weather performance. Ultimately Aurora believes that Blackmore's technology will allow them to deliver a safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective Driver than even the best systems available on the market today.
Source and top image: Aurora