Researchers bring driverless cars closer to seeing around corners

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a laser-based system that could allow driverless cars to notice unexpected obstacles before they come into view. The system uses lasers to ‘see around corners’ and create images of objects hidden around those corners. As described by The Telegraph, this is done by ‘shooting pulses of laser lights onto a wall, which then off onto objects hidden from view. Tiny amounts of light then reflect back from the hidden object, on to the wall, which in turn are picked up by a powerful photon detector.’ At the moment, the system could detect objects such as road signs, safety vests, or road markers. Further work is needed for the system to be able to work better in bright daylight and to detect objects that are not stationary and less reflective, such as children and animals.