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January 09, 2013

Shrinking the sensors and electronics for self driving cars

Audi is making the lasers sensors and other electronics for self driving cars far more compact.

Audi has developed a compact laser sensor, about the size of a fist, for autonomous vehicles. The compact laser scanner for autonomous vehicles is small enough to fit into the grill of a car. Laser scanners make it possible for autonomous vehicles to sense their surroundings, but driverless cars typically sport large, roof-mounted scanners. They are working to embed this technology into vehicles.





Hudi and other Audi executives demurred when asked when the compact automation sensors and computing systems they showed might appear in commercial vehicles, citing the vagaries of technology development and unclear regulatory environment in the U.S. and elsewhere.

However, Wolfgang Dürheimer, who is in charge of Audi’s R&D efforts, said that he believed Japan would be the place to get it first. “We think this will be one of the markets where this comes to market quickest,” he said. “The traffic and parking situation in Japan is quite outstanding.”

There and elsewhere, large cities would be the place autonomous vehicles appeared first, Dürheimer said, allowing people to have their car drive off and park itself.

SOURCE - Technology Review

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