GM has picked up Strobe in an acqui-hire of the 11-member engineering team behind the startup’s LiDAR technology. The deal gives GM a crucial part of the autonomous driving puzzle: an inexpensive way for vehicles to see better in challenging conditions.

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Founded in 2014, Strobe designs single-chip sensors that use laser light to measure distances. The Strobe team will join GM's Cruise Automation division headed by Kyle Vogt. The unit has benefited from its $1 billion acquisition by GM last year, asserting in September that, by deploying GM's capacity for mass production, it can bring autonomous vehicles to market in a matter of months.

VC activity in the space has reached new heights in 2017, with 44 deals accounting for $793.9 million in capital invested, per the PitchBook Platform. That figure is partially driven by a $159 million Series B for Nauto, the creator of a data platform for autonomous vehicles, which was led by SoftBank and Greylock Partners.

Check out more of our coverage on autonomous driving technology.

Article by PitchBBook