New Laser Technology in Driverless Cars

Did you know traffic accidents claim more than 1 million lives around the world every year? They are actually the second-leading cause of death among those kids who fall between the ages of 5 and 14. They’re also the reason some people are worried about what effect autonomous vehicles could have on the total number of traffic deaths moving forward. If the number of traffic deaths is already that high, won’t it skyrocket even higher once driverless cars and trucks are all over the road?

This is a big concern, but it’s a problem that might be solved by a group of researchers at Stanford University soon.

They have developed an impressive laser technology that is capable of seeing around corners and through walls, and it could end up saving lots of lives in the future if they are able to convince autonomous car manufacturers to incorporate it into their vehicles.

This technology is able to see around corners and spot signs of danger by using a laser device that is situated next to a photon detector that is capable of picking up on the smallest signs of light. When the device is used, it shoots a laser into a wall and reflects hidden objects back towards the device where the photo detector picks them up. Initially, the hidden objects are little more than blobs, but within just a second, the blobs can be processed and turned into sharp images that show what might be lurking around a corner.

A group of researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland have been working on a similar type of technology for a few years now. They, too, created a laser device that can process images of things hidden behind walls and around corners so that, in theory, driverless cars could detect them and then act accordingly. While this technology is still being tested, researchers are optimistic about it and believe it could play a huge role in cutting down on traffic deaths once driverless cars take the road.

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