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Pittsburgh-based Argo AI buys Princeton Lightwave, New Jersey LiDAR company

Headline_Story Pittsburgh-based Argo AI buys Princeton Lightwave, New Jersey LiDAR company
Date: Nov 27, 2017
Author: Aaron Aupperlee
Source: TribLive ( click here to go to the source)

Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving car company bolstered by $1 billion from Ford, announced Friday it acquired Princeton Lightwave, a New Jersey-based LiDAR developer.

Incorporating Princeton Lightwave's technology will help Argo AI's autonomous vehicles see farther and with better resolution, allowing the cars to better navigate through cities, Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky wrote in a post on Medium on Friday .

"Princeton Lightwave's technology will help us unlock new capabilities that will aid our virtual driver system in handling object detection in challenging scenarios, such as poor weather conditions, and safely operating at high speeds in dynamic environments," Salesky wrote.

What Argo AI paid for Princeton Lightwave was not disclosed.

LiDAR sensors, often the whirling cylinders affixed to the roof, are key hardware components for self-driving cars. The sensors act like radar but with lasers. LiDAR sensors can create a 360-degree, 3D view of a car's surroundings.

Off-the-shelf LiDAR units cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, leading some autonomous car companies to develop sensors in house. Salesky wrote that Argo AI's goal is to create a LiDAR sensor that can be produced in high numbers and at an affordable cost.

Adding the Princeton Lightwave team to Argo AI will enable the company to improve both the sensor itself and the way the sensor works with software running the car, Salesky wrote.

Princeton Lightwave's team of more than 30 employees will stay in New Jersey.

The company was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from Sarnoff Corporation, a video, vision and semiconductor research and development firm. Princeton Lightwave started with a focus on the telecommunications industry but shifted in 2003 to detection and imaging and ultimately LiDAR technology.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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