Sensor chips are implemented in CMOS technology. (© Photo Fraunhofer IMS)

News of the first serious accident involving an automated electric vehicle made headlines recently. Researchers are counting on light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, in combination with other components, to fulfill the requirements for independent steering, braking, and acceleration.

Conventional LiDAR devices aim a single laser beam at a rotating mirror to capture the surroundings through 360 degrees. The new ultrasensitive sensors can capture the car’s entire surroundings with just one laser flash and no need for mirrors. The researchers’ goal is for the Flash LiDAR to be able to sense road obstacles from a distance of up to 100 meters.