Once only a concept seen in movies, the world of autonomous driving is fast becoming a bona fide reality. Until now, only a few autonomous features have been available and limited to high-end vehicles, but the day of mass adoption and ubiquity is near. As one can imagine, the highest importance is on safety. Companies are taking different approaches to achieve that, with engineers busily fusing software, connectivity and operations to produce vehicles that can safely maneuver everything from traffic jams and pedestrians to freeways and dirt roads. If you ask Cepton Inc. (NASDAQ: CPTN) (Profile), the road to safe and effective self-driving cars goes through lidar (short for light detection and ranging), and judging by the response to Cepton recently becoming public on the Nasdaq, Wall Street agrees. Cepton, which develops and manufactures cutting-edge lidar products, is working with major automakers such as General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) to bring autonomous driving to everyone. In fact, Cepton has already secured the largest series production award in the lidar industry to support GM’s Ultra Cruise program. Others in the sector are also focusing on the space, as companies such as Luminar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: LAZR) look to enhance their presence, while Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), the world’s most well-known electric car brand, has bucked the lidar trend altogether with a camera-only approach for its autonomous driving technology.


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