But is it asking too much of the technology it seeks to use?
Self-driving trucks are already attracting usual-suspect tech giants like Uber and reportedly) Tesla, but the latest player comes from an unexpected place. Flux Auto is a 16-person startup based in Bangalore, India, that wants to make autonomous-driving tech more widely available to truck operators by making it cheaper. As such, it is developing technology that will allow any commercial truck to be retrofitted with autonomous-driving capability, according to TechCrunch.
In order to achieve its goal, Flux won't use lidar, which most other firms believe is essential for autonomous vehicles. Lidar units are simply too expensive, Flux believes. The startup claims its image-processing algorithm is sophisticated enough that regular cameras will be adequate. Flux hopes to sell its system for $3,000 to $4,500, which wouldn't be possible if lidar was included.
But Flux faces challenges beyond creating an affordable lidar workaround. First off, its home country isn't exactly hospitable to autonomous vehicles. India's chaotic roads have frustrated engineers working to develop self-driving cars, and the country's transport minister wants to ban autonomous vehicles outright, claiming they pose a threat to jobs.
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