There is a new imaging system in the works, where through changing the way that microwave and millimeter-wave imaging work, researchers could very well end up with a revolutionary method to turn the world of sensor capabilities upside down, and eventually, it might result in a potential improvement in the realm of self-driving cars. What you see on the right is a one-dimensional metamaterial aperture, which will do away with an expensive wall of detectors or a large and cumbersome machine, but will instead be able to do its job within a single slab.
According to John Hunt, a graduate student at Duke and corresponding author, he claims that the design blankets the entire area you would have scanned using an aperture fed by a single detector, and continued, “It has a large aperture, which is good for resolution, but it’s thin, has no moving parts, and it made of relatively cheap materials. It’s kind of magical.Because you end up with more data in the final picture than you finally collected, but it’s not just a good approximation. It’s the true image.”
Hopefully, this sensor would mean self-driving cars get better “eyes” and “brains” to figure out different obstacles on the road so that the entire experience will be a whole lot safer.