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Self-driving and the start-up of Aurora to buy lidar company Blackmore

(Reuters) – Self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation Inc said on Thursday it would buy Montana, on the basis of Blackmore, a company that develops a detection system known as laser, is used in the self-driving technology.

Aurora is one of dozens of automakers and major technology companies working on self-driving car systems and has partnerships with Byton, Hyundai Motor Co and Volkswagen to develop and test self-driving systems.

With the notable exception of Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc , the most car manufacturers have said their self-driving cars will depend on lidar.

The technology uses laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the car and is currently used by companies such as General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co. and Alphabet, Inc Waymo.

“Lidar is of crucial importance for the development of the safest and most reliable self-driving system, that navigating our roads safer than a human driver,” said Aurora’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Urmson, who previously led Alphabet self-driving program.

Toyota Motor Corp has worked with a number of lidar startups, including Blackmore and luminar, but the Japanese automaker continues to evaluate new sensing techniques.

Last week, Nissan Motor Co Ltd said it would, for now, stick to self-driving technology that uses radar sensors and cameras, the avoidance of lidar because of the high costs and limited opportunities.

Reporting Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Heather Somerville in San Francisco; Editing by Mark Kuber

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