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High-Tech Lidar: The Future Looks Fly

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Advanced lidar technology is poised to be at the center of a revolution in skyward autonomous mobility involving robotic passenger drones, personal helicopters, and flying vehicles.

VALERIE C. COFFEY, SCIENCE WRITER

Over 50 years ago, light detection and ranging technology (lidar) found its earliest applications in military targeting and meteorology research, and famously, in mapping the surface of the moon in 1971. But the development of lidar for widespread commercial use is relatively new. Only in the past decade has commercial lidar become widespread beyond one-off custom devices for military and research applications. Commercial volume production has reduced the cost of lidar sensors, which can return 3D point clouds containing distance and spectral data that cameras cannot. Combined with...Read full article

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