Ford to invest $75M in autonomous vehicle sensor company

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DETROIT (AP) — Ford and the Chinese search engine company Baidu will each invest $75 million in Velodyne, a company that makes laser sensors that help guide self-driving cars.

Velodyne, based in The Morgan Hill, California, says it will use the $150 million investment to expand design and production and reduce the cost of its sensors. The laser sensors are called Lidar, which stands for light, detection and ranging. They can also be used in conventional vehicles as part of driver assist systems such as automatic emergency braking.

Velodyne says that lower costs will allow the sensors to be used in all vehicles to make roads safer.

Ford says Velodyne’s technology is a key enabler of self-driving vehicles. Baidu is testing autonomous vehicles in China, where it hopes to cut road congestion.

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