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GM Acquires Driverless-Technology Startup Strobe

As part of the deal, Strobe’s engineering team is joining GM’s Cruise Automation team “to define and develop next-generation lidar solutions for self-driving vehicles.”

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General Motors announced that it has acquired Strobe Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based developer of laser-imaging technology (lidar) for autonomous vehicles.

As part of the deal, Strobe’s engineering team is joining GM’s Cruise Automation team “to define and develop next-generation lidar solutions for self-driving vehicles.”

“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 of Cruise Automation.

Lidar uses light to create high-resolution images that provide a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone. As self-driving technology continues to evolve, lidar’s accuracy will play a critical role in its deployment, GM noted.

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“The successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will be highly dependent on the availability of lidar sensors,” said Julie Schoenfeld, founder and CEO of Strobe. “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.”

Last month, Cruise Automation revealed what it called “the world’s first mass-producible car designed with the redundancy and safety requirements necessary to operate without a driver.” The vehicle will join Cruise’s testing fleets in San Francisco, metropolitan Phoenix and Detroit.

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