GM acquires LIDAR technology company Strobe, Inc

GM's self-driving unit just bought its own LIDAR manufacturer

Cruise, the self-driving auto startup GM acquired a year ago, has acquired a startup of its own - Strobe, a LiDAR sensor maker that reduces an entire LiDAR array down to just one chip, which Cruise says will be instrumental in helping it reduce the cost of LiDAR on a per vehicle basis by almost 100 percent.

Vogt did not disclose financial terms, but said 11 full-time Strobe employees would join Cruise as part of the deal. The falling cost and improving accuracy of these sensors is one of the primary factors that could make it possible to produce self-driving cars at scale, experts say. There is fierce competition between large automakers to bring autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles to market first.

That's a segment GM hopes to lead. This will help speed the manufacturing and deployment of self-driving cars to all communities, such as suburban and rural areas "where ride sharing is less common today", Vogt said in a post on Medium. This alone isn't ground breaking, but GM says the vehicle is also able to be mass-produced, which brings us that much closer to driverless cars on the road.

"This acquisition is a game changer for GM and Cruise", because of the cost savings it will bring", Kyle Vogt, chief executive of GM's Cruise Automation unit, said.

General Motors is teaming up with a California tech company in the race to dominate the self-driving auto market. The technology uses light to create high-res images which they say is a more accurate view than regular cameras and radar.

GM announced an agreement on Monday to acquire Strobe, and will acquire the start-up's engineering team to work for Cruise Automation.

What do you think of General Motors buying Strobe Inc.?

Last month, Cruise Automation revealed the world's first mass-producible vehicle designed with the redundancy and safety requirements necessary to operate without a driver.

"Driving in San Francisco is nearly nothing like driving in the suburbs, or other places where self-driving cars are tested", said Vogt.

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