Gear

Self-driving cars are great, but what about when it gets dark?

Written by Jaivik Shah

It’s one thing for an autonomous vehicle to carry passengers to their destination safely through the day, but doing so in the dark is a totally different ball game.

Self-driving cars typically rely on radars, cameras and lidars (sensors that use lasers to survey spaces) to detect obstacles and other traffic that they need to avoid. But cameras are essentially useless after sundown, so the other two types of sensors better work damn well in order to keep riders safe.

In the clip above, Ford demonstrates how it’s using a combination of maps and lidars to help guide its cars on a test track in Arizona, without depending on cameras.

The company says it’s using the most advanced technology from lidar supplier Velodyne and hopes to start testing its self-driving tech in 30 Ford Fusions this year.

About the author

Jaivik Shah

Jaivik Shah is Editor At Large of TechOptimals, He writes about how technology is changing the way we live and work in the 21st century.
Contact Jaivik at jaivik@techoptimals.com.

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