Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageGM acquires Strobe Inc. to speed up autonomous car research

By Karen Graham     Oct 9, 2017 in Technology
General Motors (GM) announced on Monday it had acquired a company that specializes in laser-imaging technology geared toward enhancing the development of autonomous vehicles.
GM, the nation's largest automaker, bought Strobe, a three-year-old startup located in Pasadena, California for an undisclosed sum, it was announced on Monday. GM plans to add the company's operations into Cruise Automation, a subsidiary focusing on self-driving technology, according to the New York Times.
Cruise Automation is currently using LIDAR technology testing autonomous electric Chevrolet Bolt cars on the streets of San Francisco with human backup drivers. The company says using Strobe's technology will reduce the cost of the vehicles while speeding up large-scale production.
For a car to drive itself  it needs to sense its surroundings. Laser arrays build a precise 3D model...
For a car to drive itself, it needs to sense its surroundings. Laser arrays build a precise 3D model of every object in a car's vicinity within seconds.
Velodyne Lidar
“Strobe’s LIDAR technology will significantly improve the cost and capabilities of our vehicles so that we can more quickly accomplish our mission to deploy driverless vehicles at scale,” Kyle Vogt, chief executive of GM’s Cruise Automation unit, said in a statement, Reuters reports.
LIDAR technology and autonomous vehicles
Basically, LIDAR technology surveys the environment using laser-powered light. For an autonomous vehicle to move around on busy streets at high speeds it must be able to identify and understand the environment, something that becomes all the more challenging when you factor in unusual environments such as poor lighting or bad weather.
Strobe, founded in 2014, has been working to reduce the size and cost of LIDAR technology without impacting on its performance. While little is known specifically about what Strobe has accomplished so far, it is known that the first company to bring self-driving cars to the road will have to equip them with high-quality cameras and sensors, says Venture Beat.
This is why there has been an increased interest in investing in LIDAR technologies the past few months. As an example, two Israeli lidar companies — Innoviz Technologies and Oryx Vision — raised $65 million and $50 million, respectively recently.
Untitled
General Motors
"The successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will be highly dependent on the availability of lidar sensors,” said Julie Schoenfeld, founder, and CEO of Strobe. “Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by numerous patents will play a significant role in helping GM and Cruise bring these vehicles to market sooner than many think.”
Just last week, General Motors, America's largest automaker, announced it will introduce 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023, with two new all-electric vehicles being launched within the next 18 months, while Ford Motors announced the creation of "Team Edison," intended to accelerate the company's EV development and partnership work. Ford also will introduce 13 electric models over the next several years.
More about strobe inc, General motors, lidar technology, driverless cars, Technology
More news from
Latest News
Top News