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Self-Driving Cars: GM Acquires LIDAR Technology Company Strobe

General Motors came another step closer to producing self-driving cars when it announced on Monday that it had acquired the laser-imaging technology (LIDAR) startup Strobe. It folded Strobe into its Cruise Automation subsidiary, tasked with developing autonomous vehicles.

Currently, LIDAR is believed by many experts to be crucial for self-driving cars. Using light to create high-resolution images, LIDAR offers a more detailed view of the car’s surroundings than cameras or radar-based sensors alone. Strobe’s LIDAR engineering talent and drawer full of patents should give Cruise Automation a leg up in LIDAR development. GM believes the acquisition will not only hasten the next generation of LIDAR technology, but the deployment of self-driving cars, as well.

Cruise recently announced the Chevrolet Bolt-based vehicles it uses as self-driving test mules are already equipped with all the sensors and redundant equipment needed for it to operate autonomously, making it the first mass-producible car capable of operating without a driver.

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Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street Performance Compact magazines. He supplied financial content and automotive-industry analysis to Bankrate.com and Interest.com.

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