While other autonomous car projects rely on an expensive radar-like system called Lidar, AImotive is trying to do the same using regular cameras and AI
The AImotive office is in a small converted house at the end of a quiet residential street in sunny Mountain View, spitting distance from Googles headquarters. Outside is a branded Toyota Prius covered in cameras, one of three autonomous cars the Hungarian company is testing in the sleepy neighbourhood. Its a popular testing ground: one of Googles driverless cars, now operating under spin-out company Waymo, zips past the office each lunchtime.
While other autonomous car projects, including those from Waymo and Uber, rely on an expensive (but very useful) radar-like system called Lidar for depth perception and obstacle detection (as well as cameras for seeing the colour of traffic lights and signs), AImotive is trying to do the same using regular cameras combined with artificial intelligence. This means the company can convert a regular car into a driverless one for a fraction of the price around $6,000 as opposed to $70,000-$100,000.
The whole traffic system is based on the visual system, explained founder and CEO Laszlo Kishonti. Drivers dont have bat ears and sonars, you just look around and drive.