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Luminar’s system emits laser light on a different frequency than most of its competitors (1550 nanometers, compared with 905 nanometers), and using proprietary technology developed by Russell and his team, it can emit 68 photons for every one that its competitors emit. That essentially equates to far more information coming back into the sensors from the light it sends out, leading to a far more detailed picture. And because the light is being emitted at multiple angles, it can create views that make it seem like the car is viewing the world from hundreds of feet above.

https://qz.com/1088163/robot-cars-need-eyes-like-ours-soon-they-might-have-them/
 

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This is very interesting. The whole lidar area is seeing a lot of innovation. Luminar is looking to extend the range of lidar, but other companies are looking to make the lidar map more granular -- more solid state. Of course there is the issue of having the sensors be small enough so they can go in bumpers and pillars.

Note that you also need maps. It's one thing for a car to see an object. It's another for it to know whether the object is supposed to be there. To make this call you need mapping. And it's a huge endeavor to map and then update all the roads you're operating on.

And then there is price. I think this is why GM says it will be the first company to profitably sell autonomous cars -- it's looking to sell them into the transportation market where there is a business case to be made for spending $10K or $15K for an autonomous system.
 

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... I think this is why GM says it will be the first company to profitably sell autonomous cars -- it's looking to sell them into the transportation market where there is a business case to be made for spending $10K or $15K for an autonomous system.
There is a seriously large amount of hardware on the roof and trunk of the Cruise Automation Bolt (GM's 2016 purchased > $1B). What is in the backseat/trunk that takes up so much space?

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabu...ed-bolt-designed-for-production/#11d26b8a2ed1
http://fortune.com/2016/03/11/gm-buying-self-driving-tech-startup-for-more-than-1-billion/


 

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One of the nice things about LIDAR is that the scan point is very tiny (unlike most sonic based sensors) so if you have mutiple LIDAR units in a confined area (say many cars at an intersection) the odds of interference from other units is minimal. Also, it's been used enough in warehouse automation at this point that the error correction algorithms are already fairly well developed.
 

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There is a seriously large amount of hardware on the roof and trunk of the Cruise Automation Bolt (GM's 2016 purchased > $1B). What is in the backseat/trunk that takes up so much space?
I read autonomous vehicles have 4 wheel steering. Why that is so, I have no clue other than it makes them incredibly mobile in confined spaces.
 
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