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article imageStartups leading the way with autonomous car developments

By Tim Sandle     Jul 20, 2018 in Technology
Autonomous vehicles are the future for cars, or so we are told. Yet the vision, backed by major technology and car firms, is running behind. To re-energize the concept, many major players are turning to startups.
Self-driving cars are receiving heavy investment from major automobile companies and technology giants, like Google. However, turning the autonomous car concept into reality is hard. Turning them into being deployed at scale is even harder.
Tesla, Uber, Lyft, Waymo, and incumbent automakers are all falling behind earlier declared timelines. For most developers, the path to success is partnership and here many startups are offering innovative solutions.
We look at three promising startups.
Light
The startup light is working on an alternative to LiDAR (light detection and ranging). LiDAR is the most common navigation system for self-driving cars, measuring the distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. However, it is not without its limitations.
The start-up Light offers an alternative: the use of complex algorithms to combine images from multiple camera modules into a single, high-quality image with depth; and this alternative has been attracting investor interest. This week Light was awarded $121 million from Tokyo-based SoftBank and Leica Camera to further develop its technology.
Zoox
Zoox is a Menlo Park, California, U.S. based robotics company focused on autonomous mobility. Zoox is working on the world's first ground-up, fully autonomous vehicle fleet. This includes the and the required ecosystem required to bring the technology to market. The company deploys artificial intelligence, robotics and design, which will come together as a mobility-as-a-service solution for urban environments.
Recently the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees autonomous testing in the state, granted Zoox permits for 14 self-driving cars and 80 test drivers. The company has also raised $500 million in new funding for its 'robo-taxi' concept.
lvl5
lvl5 is a company that builds high-defenition maps for self-driving cars using computer vision. The company's iPhone app, Payver, is already in use. The app provides the company with terabytes of driving data each day, which is being used to develop maps for self-driving cars. The company has found the means to collect the vast requisites of video collected from a camera and to turn this into high-definition three-dimensional maps that are constantly refreshing
Lvl5 was founded in December by Andrew Kouri and Erik Reed, who both worked on Tesla’s Autopilot team, and George Tall, a computer vision engineer from iRobot,
More about Startup, autonomous cars, seldriving trucks, Cars, Automotive
 
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