General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced on Monday it has acquired startup self driving company, Strobe Inc. As part of the agreement, Strobe’s engineering team will join GM’s Cruise Automation team and together develop LIDAR solutions for autonomous vehicles.
LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is one of the major sensor detections used for self driving vehicles. LIDAR uses light to create high-resolution images that provide a more accurate view of the world. This is the sensor the helps the vehicle recognize the need to speed up, slow down, turn, and other various functions.
But the problem with LIDAR technology is that it is too costly to commercialize it into vehicles, but the acquisition of Strobe can change that for Cruise.
“Strobe’s LIDAR technology will significantly improve the cost and capabilities of our vehicles so that we can more quickly accomplish our mission to deploy driverless vehicles at scale,” said Kyle Vogt, Founder and CEO, Cruise Automation.
GM acquired Cruise Automation last year to develop self driving vehicles.
By reducing the entire sensor down to a single chip, Strobe’s system should reduce the cost of each LIDAR on each car by almost 99 percent, Vogt said.
GM announced earlier in October that it plans to go fully electric by 2023, as GM Chairman and CEO, Mary Barra, wants to envision a world with “zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
The deal between the two can speed up GM’s production and deployment of electric and self driving vehicles.
“Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by numerous patents will play a significant role in helping GM and Cruise bring these vehicles to market sooner than many think.” said Julie Schoenfeld, Founder and CEO, Strobe Inc.
Terms of the agreement, besides Strobe team members joining GM, were not disclosed.