Silicon Valley-based self-driving-car startup Aurora Innovation Inc. has acquired Blackmore Sensors and Analytics Inc., a Montana-based developer of lidar sensors. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Aurora plans to integrate Blackmore’s lidar into its self-driving system. Blackmore uses a frequency-modulated continuous wave technology that the company says is more precise and works better in severe weather conditions than more common amplitude wave lidar systems, which use short laser pulses.
Founded a decade ago to develop military applications, Blackmore attracted investments from BMW and Toyota last year. The company has about 70 employees.
Aurora was founded in late 2016 by former executives from Tesla, Uber and Google’s self-driving car program. The startup closed a $530 million second-round investment funding round in February, and has partnerships with Byton, Hyundai and Volkswagen.
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There have been more than 20 reported attacks against Waymo’s self-driving fleet in Chandler, Ariz., since the company began testing the technology on public roads there two years ago.
While there is a burgeoning proliferation of companies that are in the LiDAR space, each with its own take on utilizing laser pulses to create a precise map of its surroundings for purposes of ADAS or full-blown automation, a Seattle-based company has a distinction that certainly sets it apart from its competitors.