No. 1 U.S. automaker General Motors Co said on 9 October it would buy Strobe Inc, which uses LIDAR technology to help self-driving cars identify objects at a distance, to boost its push into the market for self-driving vehicles.
LIDAR is one of the major sensor technologies used in autonomous vehicles. There is fierce competition between large automakers to bring autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles to market first.
Fully self-driving vehicles are expected to hit the market in a limited form by around 2020. GM and its U.S. rival Ford Motor Co have both publicly stated that they aim to have fully self-driving cars on sale by 2021.
“Strobe’s LIDAR technology will significantly improve the cost and capabilities of our vehicles so that we can more quickly accomplish our mission to deploy driverless vehicles at scale,” Kyle Vogt, chief executive of GM’s Cruise Automation unit, said in a statement.
GM did not say how much it was paying for Strobe. Vogt said last week that the unit was making “rapid progress” toward deploying self-driving cars.