Waymo to sell laser-based distance measuring sensors

San Francisco: Alphabet’s auto-driving company Waymo has said it will begin to sell laser-based distance measuring sensors to customers outside the self-driving industry. Waymo said it has been developing for many years the sensor product that is key to self-driving vehicles.

The product is now available to companies outside of self-driving, such as the robotics, security and agricultural technology sectors, Xinhua reported on Wednesday. Waymo said the 3D light detection and ranging sensors, or LiDAR, will help scale its autonomous technology faster, making each sensor more affordable through economies of scale.

LiDAR will have a vertical field of view (FOV) of 95 degrees, plus a 360-degree horizontal FOV, a minimum range of zero, helping it detect objects immediately in front of the sensor with laser beams. Such features that are powerful in measuring distance will produce highly accurate 3D maps of the outside environment around a car, thus enabling “key capabilities such as near object detection and avoidance.”

Waymo said the sale of LiDAR sensors will generate financial resources to propel its business forward. Custom LiDAR sensors made Waymo “the first company in the world to put fully self-driving cars on public roads”, said Waymo’s Lidar Team head Simon Verghese.

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