Ford to invest $75M in autonomous vehicle sensor company

FILE - This Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, file photo, shows the blue Ford oval badge in the grill of a pickup truck on the sales lot at Butler County Ford in Butler, Pa. Ford and Chinese search engine company Baidu announced Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, they will invest $75 million each in Velodyne, a company that makes laser sensors that help guide self-driving cars. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2011, file photo, a photographer walks past the logo of Baidu Inc. during a technology innovation conference held by the company at China's National Convention Center in Beijing. Ford and Chinese search engine company Baidu announced Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, they will invest $75 million each in Velodyne, a company that makes laser sensors that help guide self-driving cars. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)

DETROIT — Ford and the Chinese search engine company Baidu will each invest $75 million in Velodyne, a company that makes laser sensors that help guide self-driving cars.

Velodyne, based in Morgan Hill, California, says it will use the $150 million investment to expand design and production and reduce the cost of its sensors. The laser sensors are called Lidar, which stands for light, detection and ranging. They can also be used in conventional vehicles as part of driver assist systems such as automatic emergency braking.

Velodyne says that lower costs will allow the sensors to be used in all vehicles to make roads safer.

Ford says Velodyne's technology is a key enabler of self-driving vehicles. Baidu is testing autonomous vehicles in China, where it hopes to cut road congestion.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said on CNBC Tuesday that the announcement will help Ford transition to a mobility company. He says the next decade will be defined by automation of vehicles.

"Autonomous vehicles could have just as much significant impact on society as Ford's moving assembly line did 100 years ago," he said.

He also said the company plans to expand its presence in Silicon Valley. Details were to be announced later Tuesday.

You may also interested in

Boston building with Citgo sign sold;...

Aug 12, 2016

A building that hosts Boston's iconic Citgo sign has been sold to a local developer known for being...

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

Incumbent US Sen. Brian Schatz wins Hawaii primary

Aug 14, 2016

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wins the Democratic primary and is likely to keep his seat in...

Russian man faces US trial in lucrative hacking...

Aug 14, 2016

Prosecutors describe Roman Seleznev (sah-LEZ-nof), the son of a Russian lawmaker, as a master...

Congress receives FBI notes from Clinton interview

Aug 17, 2016

Congress has received FBI documents related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com