The Unlikely Technology Helping Autonomous Cars See

While most autonomous vehicles are being designed to communicate through radio signals, bar codes are the type of robust system that would serve as a welcome backup, says Christoph Mertz, a principal project scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. “Redundancies are always good, especially with autonomous vehicles, because it can be deadly if there is a mistake,” he says. “Any information you want to pass around, you want to pass it around in a number of ways.”