Geo Week News

October 31, 2011

Google is not the only one using laser scanners on cars

Google made plenty of web-headlines this week when Sergey Brinn let some of the cat out of the bag at the Web 2.0 Summit about the company’s self-driving car initiative. Here’s Fox’s breathless coverage (my favorite part is this sentence: “The vehicle works using a rotating $75,000 laser on its roof called a “lidar” that gives a 360-degree, 3D understanding of the car’s surroundings that is accurate to two centimeters, or about an inch.” I’m not sure what’s better, that it’s called “a lidar” or that they translate “two centimeters” for the American audience…). And here’s what Googlewatch had to say. And Autoblog. You get the idea.

But Google isn’t the only one working on using laser scanning to inform automated driving. Watch this week’s video blog for the scoop:


Supporting materials:

• Here’s the video I clipped in my videoblog with the guys taking a test drive. (Don’t watch if you have a problem with strong language. Let’s say the guys were very impressed.

• Here’s Sebastian Thrun’s TED talk about the driverless car.

• Here’s the Volkswagen paper in its entirety. See it presented at SPAR Europe.

• Here’s our original story from 2006 about the VW/Z+F team-up.

• Here’s Tom Greaves’ write-up about getting a first-hand look at the VW mobile system this summer.

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