“What makes autonomous vehicles work?”
Autonomous vehicles, archeological scanning, soil imaging, and automated agriculture all rely on knowing real-time distance to work. However, how exactly can we accomplish this? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to find out. We know that if we send a beam of light from a laser somewhere, then it can be reflected back. And since the speed of light is constant in a uniform medium, if we measure the time it took to return, we can obtain a measurement for distance. This system is known as LIDAR Scanning, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging. LIDAR has caused a revolution in multiple fields of science and is moving every day closer and closer to mainstream adoption.