Given that most of this year’s holiday shopping is taking place online, you are probably doing even more research than usual about which consumer technology product to buy for the gadget enthusiast in your life. For example, if your dad bought a windshield-mounted GPS device back in 2004 and delighted in how the British lady’s voice guided him successfully to unfamiliar destinations, you are probably looking for another gadget that will enhance his driving experience.
Heads up devices, which display information about route conditions directly onto the windshield in an effort to reduce distracted driving, are one such type of device that exists today as a stocking stuffer, but its enthusiasts hope that it will one day become a standard feature of cars. If you read far enough on the “standard features of tomorrow” website, you will find frequent mention of lidar, a laser technology currently used in driving assistance technologies and which has potential applications for self-driving vehicles.
This week, lidar emerged from the recesses of car geek websites and onto the front page of news sites as the founder of a lidar technology company has just become one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires. Of course, high-tech safety features do not always add as much safety as they promise the seat belt remains the safest safety feature in your car. Meanwhile, technology in which the car has a mind of its own can even make driving more dangerous. If you have been injured in an accident where state-of-the-art car technology malfunctioned, contact a Louisiana car accident lawyer.
Current and Future Lidar Applications in Cars
Lidar stands for “laser imaging, detection, and ranging.” It involves using a laser plus a hexagonal mirror to send the laser beam into six directions, so that three of the resulting beams can detect obstacles in the car’s path, while the others detect lane markings and other features of the road. It has been a part of object detection technology in cars for a long time; its current applications include adaptive cruise control, antilock brake systems, and emergency brake assist. Adaptive cruise control systems have been using lidar technology since the early 1990s. Many projects to develop self-driving cars incorporate lidar, in addition to other technologies, to enable the cars to navigate the roadways on their own.
The trouble with lidar is that, in rainy weather, the laser light reflects off of rain droplets, thereby confusing the car about where the obstacles, if any, are located. The bigger problem is that no technology thus far can substitute for the good human judgment required for safe driving.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Car Accident Cases
Flashy technology in cars can cause as many accidents as it prevents, especially when people put too much trust in it and stop being vigilant behind the wheel. A car accident lawyer can help you recover the financial security you lost because of a car accident. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.