Aurora Introduces New LiDAR And Vehicle Platform

The Palo Alto-based self-driving technology start-up Aurora presented two new products today. Firstly, the use of a self-developed, so-called FirstLight LiDAR. In May 2019, Aurora had acquired the LiDAR company Blackmore with 70 employees, and the FirstLight LiDAR now presented is the first result of this acquisition.

The company did not announce more precise features of the LiDAR, it is mounted centrally above the windscreen and is intended for longer distances. It could be similar to the specifications for the AFDL that Blackmore had announced before it was acquired. The specs could be 120 degree field of vision, 450 meters range, 2.4 million points per second for $20,000 per unit. Several Hesai PandarQT LiDARs for short distances can be seen on the side of the sensor configuration.

Another news that Aurora will not go into is a new vehicle platform that the company is showing. Just like Waymo or Voyage, the company shows a Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivan in the published images. Chris Urmson, who was development manager at Waymo, is very familiar with this type of vehicle. This could mean that this platform will be the first to be used for an Aurora robotic taxi service. So far, the company has mainly used Lincoln MKZs

Aurora also revealed that its proprietary self-driving technology, called Aurora Driver, has been tested on six different vehicle platforms so far, ranging from sedans and minivans to trucks with trailers, demonstrating that the technology is flexible enough to be used on different vehicle platforms.

Aurora was founded in 2017 by Chris Urmson (Ex-Waymo), Sterling Anderson (Ex-Uber) and Drew Bagnell(Ex-Tesla).

This article was also published in German.


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