Autonomous vehicles all need sensors that can help them detect and avoid objects in their environment. And to operate at high speeds, these sophisticated machines need to identify objects ahead precisely, and early enough, that they can avoid crashing into them.
Existing systems have included light ranging and detection systems and cameras, primarily. But the effectiveness of both LiDAR and cameras can hinge on weather. LiDAR and cameras don’t “see” well in fog, dust or other inclement weather typically. Some aren’t capable of long-range sensing. Many are also clunky enough that they can’t even be considered for use on drones.
Now, investors are betting $29 million that Echodyne and its lightweight radar systems will bring true autonomy to vehicles of every kind, starting with drones but also cars, boats, or mobile robots.