The Lidar in Your Car: Friend or Foe?

The Lidar in Your Car: Friend or Foe?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most American were not in the greatest financial situation, but as 2020 draws to a close, many of us are delaying major purchases until we find out whether we will get a second stimulus check or whether our employers will be eligible for another round of PPP funding.  Not Austin Russell, though.  At the tender age of 25, he has just become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire after selling Luminar, the company he founded.  The reason?  Lidar, the technology on which Luminar products are based.  You have probably never thought about Lidar, but it is probably part of several high-tech components of your car, making your ride safer.  When these parts malfunction, though, they can make it harder to avoid car accidents.  If you have been injured in a car accident where the malfunction of a high-tech part, contact a Santa Clara County car accident lawyer.

How Lidar Technology Works

Lidar, which stands for “light detection and ranging” is an application of laser technology.  It uses sensors to detect obstacles in the path of a laser beam.  The lidar technology used in cars involves directing the laser beam toward a hexagonal mirror, which refracts the light in six different directions.  The top three beams can then detect obstacles in the car’s path, such as nearby cars.  Meanwhile, the lower three beams focus on features of the road, like lane markings and crosswalks.

Even if you have had your car for many years, it probably uses lidar technology.  Mitsubishi began incorporating lidar-based adaptive cruise control systems into its vehicles in the early 1990s, and many other car manufacturers soon followed suit.  In general, the “smarter” your car is, the more it relies on lidar.  Many car systems that require automatic detection of obstacles use lidar to “see” these obstacles.  These include car systems that are present in most vehicles today, such as anti-lock brake systems, as well as newer technologies that are still considered fancy and luxurious, such as parking assist and lane assist technology.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, lidar has many applications in self-driving vehicles.

What Can Go Wrong with Lidar Technology?

The lidar technology in your car helps you reach your definition safely, even though you probably don’t notice it.  Of course, anti-lock brake systems can malfunction, just like any other car part.  The biggest danger with lidar in cars is when drivers assume that, because the car is so high-tech, the driver does not have to pay as much attention to the road as previous generations of motorists did.  Another potential problem with lidar is that, in rainy conditions, the sensors can sometimes interpret raindrops in the laser’s path as obstacles.

Contact Us Today for Help

San Jose car accident lawyer can help if you were injured in an accident related to the malfunction or improper use of a high-tech car part.  Contact Solution Now Law Firm for help with your case.


Solution Now Law Firm

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