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Researchers Develop New AV Imaging System

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Feb. 21, 2019—MIT researchers may have found a new way to give autonomous vehicles the ‘eyesight’ they need to see objects through thick layers of fog, reported R&D Magazine.

A research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a sub-terahertz radiation receiving system that could aid autonomous cars in driving through low-visibility conditions.Sub-terahertz wavelengths are located between microwave and infrared radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. These wavelengths can be detected through fog and dust clouds, while infrared-based LiDAR imaging systems that are commonly used in autonomous vehicles struggle to see through the haze, according to the report.

Researchers were able to overcome a design issue that has previously prevented sub-terahertz to be implemented in driverless vehicles. The team built a prototype system that includes a 32-pixel array that is integrated on a 1.2-square-millimeter device. These pixels are 4,300 times more sensitive than the pixels currently used in sub-terahertz array sensors.

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