What is required of a lidar sensor to safely support autonomous vehicle operation at highway speed? At 70 miles per hour, spotting an object at, say, 60 meters out provides two seconds to react. But when traveling at that speed, it can take 100 meters to slow to a stop. A useful range of somewhere closer to 200 meters is a better target to shoot for to make autonomous cars truly safe.
There is no shortage of companies that are developing both mechanical and solid state sensors to support the needs of the rapidly approaching autonomous vehicle market. This article provides an excellent summary of the current state of the automotive lidar sensor ecosystem.
There is still a lot of R & D needed to develop lidar sensors that can be mass produced in order to support the autonomous vehicle market.