Ford tested driverless cars using LiDAR technology

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Who: Ford Motor Company
Where: Mcity
What: Tested LiDAR based autonomous cars
When: 15 November 2015

LiDAR: Light Detection and Ranging technology

Ford Motor Company on 15 November 2015 announced that it tested driverless cars in Mcity, a 32-acre testing area designed by the University of Michigan, using LiDAR technology.

With this, Ford has joined Californian tech giants Google, Apple and Tesla that are developing autonomous cars using using the technology.

Lidar or LiDAR or LADAR, blend of Light and Radar, is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light.

The technology is popularly used in Agriculture (to assess crop health and terrain mapping), conservation, remote sensing and meteorology, surveying, military, mining, transport, etc.

In the case of driverless and autonomous vehicles, roof-mounted laser radars are used to detect and avoid pedestrians, cars and other obstacles.

The lidar units send out laser pulses that allow the car’s computer to build up a picture of the world around it.

In India, the Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Ltd (WAPCOS) conducted an aerial survey, in September 2015, using LiDAR to survey the Godavari basin in the Telangana to identify suitable places to construct barrages across the river.