On April 3rd, Purdue University released an article on a newly developed laser beam technology for autonomous vehicles. While the new laser beam reportedly has multiple uses, its primary function is intended for steering autonomous vehicles. Current autonomous technology utilizes lidar, or light detection and ranging, which consists of infrared lasers that gauge the distance between a vehicle and an object, thereby sending a signal to the computer, which commands the car’s next movements based on the object.


According to the article, the new laser beam technology is said to be faster, more cost effective, and more efficient than its lidar alternative. In fact, it is so efficient, that it can scan the distance to an object within nanoseconds or even picoseconds, unlike current technologies that only have the ability to function within microseconds. Not to mention, the new laser beam will not require near the amount of hardware as its competition.


The article claims that the new laser technology is not yet ready for autonomous vehicles, as scientists plan to test it in more conservative environments before its release to auto OEMs.


Read the full article here.