Waymo's Laser Bear Honeycomb is a tool capable of sensing its environment. It has a vertical field of view (FOV) of 95 degrees -- significantly wider than the standard lidar's 30-degree FOV -- and a 360-degree horizontal view. Waymo claims it has the same vision capabilities of three lesser 3D sensors stacked on top of one another. The company's lidar can also sense multiple objects with a single pulse of light, providing a more detailed view of the world around it. With a minimum range of zero, the Laser Bear Honeycomb can see objects immediately in front of it, which helps with object detection and avoidance.
By selling the lidar as a standalone device, Waymo will help enable advancements in other automation projects outside of self-driving cars. Warehouse robots and assembly line machinery could benefit from the high-tech sensors, as could security systems. Importantly for Waymo, it offers a new stream of revenue that will help support the company's main goal of developing autonomous vehicle systems without having to sell its tech to direct competitors.