Lidar maker Princeton Lightwave acquired by Ford's Argo AI unit
Princeton Lightwave’s Giger-mode lidar already serves the commercial mapping and defense industries.
Ford Motor Company's Argo AI (Pittsburgh, PA), which develops software for self-driving vehicles, is buying Princeton Lightwave (Cranbury, NJ), a company with extensive experience in the development and commercialization of lidar sensors. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Princeton Lightwave’s Giger-mode lidar already serves the commercial mapping and defense industries, and Argo says the acquisition will help it extend the range and resolution needed to achieve self-driving capability in urban environments. Princeton Lightwave’s technology complements and expands the capability of lidar sensors already available to the automotive industry today.
On the Argo company blog, Bryan Salesky, CEO, wrote, “Our expanded team remains focused on accelerating the development of a virtual driver system that’s mandated for SAE levels four and five autonomous driving — meaning there’s no driver behind the wheel. By collaborating with our in-house hardware and software developers, as well as our supply base, we will work to create LiDAR sensors that not only meet the demanding performance required for high volume production, but also are affordable.”
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Ford acquired control of Argo in February and is investing $1 billion in the company over five years. In 2016, Ford invested $75 million in Velodyne, a well-known lidar maker with sensor technology some consider still too expensive. Earlier this month, General Motors acquired another lidar maker, Strobe.