Lumotive Says It's Got a Solid-State Lidar That Really Works

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Fine-tunable liquid crystals steer the beam electronically—with no moving parts

Lumotive, a startup in Bellevue, Wash., says it has a compact, long-range lidar sensor that is at least as capable as the best machines from its rivals but smaller, cheaper to make, and more robust.

This announcement, the company’s first, comes after two years of work, seeded by money from Bill Gates and from Intellectual Ventures, a firm founded by Gates’ former science guy, Nathan Myhrvold. Right now Lumotive is showing a benchtop prototype to potential customers; it plans to ship samples toward the end of the third quarter of

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