The future of safe road traffic belongs to laser technology. This was demonstrated at the race for driverless cars, the DARPA Urban Challenge in the USA. The winning Tartan Racing Team, the second-place Stanford Racing Team and the third-place Victor Tango Team in the finals held on 3 November used Ibeo laser sensors. The high-performance sensors were the racing vehicle’s smart eyes. Besides these teams, another 3 additional vehicles in the race used the laser scanners made in Germany.
In order for the driverless cars to be capable of completely automatic driving, they have to be capable of recognizing their surroundings and reacting to the prevailing conditions in fractions of a second.
The Ibeo laser scanners serve as smart eyes that guide the vehicles safely through traffic.
The laser scanners are designed for driver assistance functions such as pedestrian protection, automatic emergency braking, traffic jam assistance and much more. They are so powerful, however, that they were used by the six teams at the race for autonomous vehicles. The ibeo LUX scanner tested successfully at the DARPA Urban Challenge will enter small scale production already in Fall 2008 and be available to the automobile industry for realizing complex driver assistance functions.
Teams with Ibeo laser sensors:
- Team Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI
- CarOLO, Caroline, NY
- Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
- Tartan Racing Team, Pittsburgh, PA
- Team Victor Tango, Blacksburg, VA
- Stanford Racing Team, Stanford, CA
The company Ibeo Automobile Sensor GmbH, founded in 1998, employs 38 employees in Germany and holds more than seventy patents pertaining to laser scanner technology. The majority shareholder in Ibeo is SICK AG, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sensor solutions for industrial applications. SICK AG employs some 4,400 employees at more than forty locations worldwide. The company recorded sales of 646 million EURO in 2006.