For several years, technology companies have dangled the promise of a lidar sensor with no moving parts that is also small and cheap enough to embed on several key places of a vehicle. These robust, solid-state sensors are one of many essential components auto manufacturers need before they unleash self-driving vehicles on the market. But while they’re not the only variable of the autonomous vehicle equation that needs to be solved, lidars are an important—and redundant—tool needed to help vehicles “see” in a range of weather and lighting conditions.
Several Bay Area startups are angling to be the first to bring solid-state lidar to market, and yesterday Ouster became the latest Silicon Valley company to announce that it has developed a compact lidar with no moving parts that can be mass-produced at an affordable price. The catch? Like