When you stare through the windshield of your car, you don’t see the world the same way a dash cam does. What you see is being warped by the inner workings of your brain, prioritizing detail at the center of the scene while keeping attention on the peripheries to spot danger. Luis Dussan thinks that autonomous cars should have that ability, too.
His startup, AEye, has built a new kind of hybrid sensor that seeks to make that possible. The device contains a solid-state lidar, a low-light camera, and chips to run embedded artificial-intelligence algorithms that can reprogram on the fly how the hardware is being used. That allows the system to prioritize where it’s looking in order to give vehicles a more refined view of the world.
Dussan, AEye’s founder and CEO, has worked in electronics and optics labs at Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; he put …