GM just purchased a lidar startup called Strobe that I had never heard of before. Strobe has flown well below the radar, but GM Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt says that they have compressed their lidar down to a chip that fits in one hand.
It is interesting that lidar is increasingly becoming a competitive differentiator between self-driving car companies. Lidar, in fact, is the basis for the lawsuit between Waymo and Uber.
Here’s where I think a few top autonomous vehicle companies are with lidar:
Waymo: They appear to be building their own lidar. They’re also suing Uber over theft of lidar documents.
Tesla: Elon Musk famously believes lidar is not necessary for self-driving cars.
Uber: Photos indicate that Uber ATG self-driving cars are mounted with something that looks like a Velodyne HDL-32E.
GM Cruise: They just bought Strobe.
Ford: Invested in Velodyne.
Baidu: Invested in Velodyne.
Toyota: They’re using Luminar units in their recently unveiled prototype vehicles.