One of the biggest challenges in the push toward self-driving cars is the massive amount and transmission speed of data needed to autonomously navigate complex environments. For example, self-driving vehicles will have to communicate with other cars and infrastructure such as parking spaces and traffic lights.
One of the companies helping to surmount this obstacle is Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH. For two decades, the Hamburg-based company has been developing recognition-technology and lidar (short for “light detection and ranging”) systems. These systems emit laser pulses that can determine the speed, position, size and shape of objects such as cyclists, pedestrians, other cars and crash barriers, and the lasers can be combined to allow a 360-degree view even in rain and snow.
Hamburg will also soon be a testing ground for “autonomous shuttles” using similar technology. As part of the Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transport project, zero-emission driverless e-buses will travel a route with nine stops in the HafenCity district beginning in the summer of 2019.