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Sony To Develop New Vision Sensor For Self-Driving Vehicles

Amit Nag

Sony Corp (OTC: SNEJF) is working on developing a new, more affordable lidar vision-sensing technology for self-driving cars, the Financial Times reports.

What Happened

In an attempt to dominate the market for image sensors in the nascent autonomous-vehicles industry, Sony is developing a new silicon-based vision sensor that is lower in cost, compact, and resistant to vibrations.

“Smartphones probably made the biggest impact in the 21st century in terms of changing people’s lives. Mobility is next,” said Sony’s chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida in an interview. 

The move comes as other tech companies are already in the race to develop more functional vision sensors for self-driving vehicles.

In December, a Silicon Valley start-up called Aeva developed a smaller and more capable version of the vision sensor for autonomous cars and received backing from Porsche Automobil Holding SE (OTC: POAHF), the majority owner of VOLKSWAGEN AG (OTC: VLKPY).  

Why It Matters

Current lidar vision sensor models tend to be bulky and fragile and often cost thousands of dollars. 

Sony has certain advantages over its competitors to grab the market leader position for vision sensors and offer the devices at an affordable price, analysts told Financial Times. 

The company has the technology and infrastructure to produce lidars and image sensors in large volumes and sell those as a package to self-driving carmakers, the analysts said.

Photo Credit: mk7 via Wikimedia

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