Unlikely technology helping autonomous cars see

Source: Jack Kaskey, Bloomberg Businessweek

Cars that can already park themselves, apply brakes, avoid obstacles, and find the correct lane rely on sensors and transmitters hidden in bumpers and side panels. Paints and coatings can interfere with or improve the performance of those sensors, says Barry Snyder, chief technology officer of Axalta Coatings Systems Ltd.

The world’s largest producer of vehicle coatings, PPG Industries Inc., is engineering a paint that allows the near-infrared light emitted by lasers to pass through a dark car’s exterior layer and rebound off a reflective undercoat—making it visible to sensors.

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