Lidar is a version of radar that uses lasers instead of radio waves to determine distance. The technology has been around for 50 years, but has become popular in recent years because of its use in early driverless car prototypes. The technology is used to create a 3D map of the area surrounding the car to determine where it is safe to drive.
Velodyne LiDAR is a leader in the technology, and has been working on making the technology smaller. Just a few years ago, the technology was so large that it required the entire top of a car for its mount; today the technology is small enough that it can fit in your hand. In addition to size, they have worked on pricing. As the sensors got smaller, so did the cost - originally costing $80,000, you can now get one of the smaller units for $8,000.
Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.
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