Ford buys Geiger-mode lidar firm Princeton Lightwave

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A little more than a year ago, Princeton Lightwave announced the formation of an automotive lidar business unit. Its stated purpose was to commercialize the company’s Geiger-mode technology for the automotive market.

This past Friday, the approach has been validated—Forbes reports that the Argo AI subsidiary of Ford motor company has purchased Princeton Lightwave. This is the second investment that Ford has made in lidar since joining a round of funding for Velodyne back in August of 2016.

Though Ford explains that they will need Princeton Lightwave to help them develop more “affordable” lidar sensors, it’s worth noting that Geiger-mode lidar can offer advantages beyond low costs.

As Princeton Lightwave chief sales and marketing officer Jay Leibowitz told SPAR last August, “it turns out that you can see through obscurants with Geiger-mode lidar better than you can with linear-mode lidar. That gives the advantage of being able to see farther and see lower reflectivity objects in various kinds of weather.”

Princeton Lightwave’s latest automotive Geiger-mode lidar, the GeigerCruizer, is rated to detect objects beyond 200 meters.

 

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