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­ber Project May Improve Autonomous Cars' Vision

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A Google self-driving car made to look like an Uber self-driving prototype.

Uber is working with the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona on a mapping and safety project for autonomous vehicles.

Credit: Google

Uber is collaborating with the University of Arizona on a mapping and safety project for self-driving cars.  

Uber will work with the College of Optical Sciences, and a recent online post from the department describes technology available for licensing that could make a smaller and less expensive version of the Lidar scanners that sit on top of Google's prototype driverless cars. The technology is designed to control its laser beams via a chip covered with tiny movable mirrors to steer them.  "The promise of autonomous vehicles will need to utilize less complex and costly systems to become practical," the post says.

University of Arizona professor Yuzuru Takashima is leading the effort to develop better technology for creating three-dimensional (3D) maps and improve the way autonomous cars sense and interpret their surroundings. Uber's state-of-the-art mapping test vehicles will begin operating from the university's campus.

Google's vehicles have been able to drive themselves more than 1 million miles on freeways and urban streets because of extremely detailed 3D maps, which include every light pole and curbstone.

From Technology Review
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