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AI Radar Technology for Self-Driving Cars Verges Weather Hazards

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

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Self-driven cars need to stay in their lanes and if hazardous weather conditions control the morning, day or night drive; then the autonomous vehicle will need to have suitable technology to manage such conditions. WaveSense, a US based firm believes it can be a tremendous help in that direction.

The company has announced the commercialization of its patented Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). It's being inclined to significantly expand navigation safety and precision on any road. The company publicized the "commercialization" of its patented WaveSense tech on August 20. The announcement suggested that WaveSense's proprietary algorithms regulate the vehicle's exact location in a five-dimensional space.

The safety-first optical sensors currently in use show their limitations if they cannot see markings and when the road surface is not visible during snowstorms, fog, heavy rain and sand. However, WaveSense technology functions during the day and night. The company's slogan is "When other sensors go blind, WaveSense keeps you safe."

Jonathan Gitlin, Arts Technica automotive editor expressed, "Actually, you want more than one kind of sensor, because redundancy is going to be critical if humans are going to trust their lives to robot vehicles."

The WaveSense GPR is complementary with current sensor systems. Road & Track mentioned the CEO, Tarik Bolat. "We won't always have data, all-steel bridges with no asphalt surface, for example, aren't responsive to this technique; but we view our technology as filling in the gaps that lidar and camera processing can't cover.


Kyle Hyatt of Roadshow wrote that "the WaveSense system will scan up to 10 feet below the surface of the road to lock on to stable ground. It can then use this data, collectively with data from the vehicle's other onboard sensors, to build itself a map of subterranean structures which it can be used to maintain its position on the road."

It has demonstrated accuracy at 60 mph. "WaveSense suggests it can pinpoint a location to within an inch, even at highway speeds," said Wired. Within an inch is where we will need it. "For a robo-car to be able to navigate a city, it needs to know where it is, and where it should be, within an inch or so," commented Jack Stewart in Wired.

WaveSense technology was created by MIT for the military and was used in combat conditions. Road & Track suggested it’s a "war-proven radar tech." Gitlin in Ars Technica shared the technology was originally developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory to detect buried mines and improvised explosive devices for use in self-driving cars.

The company’s publication alleged several pilots were underway with global players in the automotive and technology sectors and is currently closing a $3M deal led by Rhapsody Venture Partners.

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