What gives autonomous vehicles their independence is the laser system that scans a car's surroundings for obstacles. Known as LiDAR systems, traditional setups are unsightly, require moving parts that sweep the entire 360 degrees around the car, and aren't particularly good at identifying specific objects, especially in bad weather. On top of all that, they're expensive: the device atop Google's self-driving cars costs upwards of $70,000. That high cost creates a barrier to speedy adoption of self-driving cars. In 2015, sensing tech company Quanergy Systems hinted at a solution: a solid-state LiDAR system that's the size of a credit card, costs just $1,000, and is more accurate than current options. "Our solid state LiDAR is significantly more compact and more affordable than any other unit on the market today, and will revolutionize the way automotive manufacturers design cars," said Louay Eldada, Quanergy CEO in a press release. The new system will be unveiled in early 2016 and the company has already partnered with automakers including Mercedes, Hyundai-Kia, and Nissan.
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