Cruise, the self-driving startup acquired by General Motors, is now gobbling up companies of its own. The company came a step closer to manufacturing Self Driving Cars when it announced last week that it had acquired a LiDAR manufacturing startup, Strobe Inc. Strobe will form an integral part of Cruise’s Automation team, that has been tasked with developing autonomous vehicles.
With this latest acquisition, Cruise hopes to ramp up this service for more cities and people. Strobe’s sensors provide distance and velocity data that can be checked against their other sensors, like radar for redundancy. The key factor that attracted Cruise was the fact that, Strobe Inc had successfully reduced the LiDAR array down to a single chip. This innovation will help reduce production costs by nearly 100 percent and in turn help to hasten the manufacturing and deployment of self-driving cars to all communities, such as suburban and rural areas where ride sharing is less common today.
LiDAR being a prime component in autonomous driving, has driven many big automakers and tech companies on a hunt to scoop up any startup with the skills and technical know-how needed to produce these complex laser sensors in the past. Expect more such reads in the coming future.