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  • 08.16.16

Ford, Baidu invest $150M in top sensor maker for self-driving cars

The announcement, made hours before an event at Ford’s expanded Silicon Valley Research and Innovation Campus, is all about the company’s long-range autonomous car plans.

The idea, the companies said in a release, is to give Velodyne the resources to “rapidly expand the design and production of high-performance, cost-effective automotive LiDAR sensors, accelerating mass adoption in autonomous vehicle and (advanced driver assistance systems) applications.”

Velodyne produces LiDAR systems capable of producing between 300,000 and 2.2 million data points per second with a range of as much as 200 meters and centimeter-level accuracy. That makes it ideal, the release said, for automotive companies’ autonomous vehicle programs.

That obviously makes sense for Ford, which wants to develop autonomous cars. Perhaps less known are the plans of Baidu–China’s leading search engine company–for developing its own driverless cars.DT