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12 10 2017 01

Cruise, the self-driving car startup GM acquired last year, has acquired a startup of its own – Strobe, a LiDAR sensor maker that reduces an entire LiDAR array down to just one chip, which Cruise says will be instrumental in helping it reduce the cost of LiDAR on a per vehicle basis by nearly 100 percent.

The cost issue is a big one: LiDAR remains one of the single most expensive component in the autonomous vehicle stack, and it’s a bottleneck not just in terms of cost, but also in terms of manufacturing complexity and performance and reliability over time across all types of weather, as Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt notes in a Medium post announcing the news.

Vogt says that decreasing costs for autonomous vehicles will be key in deploying them across a range of different areas, including in the suburbs and outside of major cities, where currently the economics would make it difficult to deploy something like an autonomous ride hailing service.

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Tags: Mobility

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