Waymo unveils latest self-driving sensors

Waymo unveils 5th generation self-driving car sensors
Waymo is testing its 5th-generation driver sensor suite on Jaguar’s electric I-Pace. (Waymo)

According to an article on 9to5google.com, Waymo revealed a $2.25 billion external investment round to help expand its offerings. That includes the company’s 5th-generation self-driving sensors.

The article noted that Waymo’s “5th-generation Waymo Driver sensor suite” has been in testing for the past several months in San Francisco. The first vehicle fitted with these sensors is Jaguar’s electric I-Pace.

The latest system includes a 360 degree LiDAR sensor mounted on top of the car for a bird’s eye view. Perimeter LiDAR is located on the front and rear bumper, as well as on each side just above the front wheels. There’s also a front-facing, long-range camera on the roof, as well as a 360 vision system that can see 500 meters away.

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A perimeter vision system works in conjunction with perimeter LiDAR for up-close perspectives

For example, while the perimeter LiDARs detect obstacles directly in front of the vehicle with precision, the perimeter cameras provide the machine learning algorithms additional details to reliably identify objects, providing more context to the traffic scene.

There’s also a peripheral vision system to reduce “blind spots caused by parked cars or large vehicles.”

Waymo’s solution also uses radar to “instantaneously see and measure an object’s velocity.” In addition to what’s in motion, Waymo’s new system can track barely moving or stopped objects, thanks to higher resolution and enhanced processing.


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