US-based autonomous vehicle (AV) company Argo AI has developed a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensor.

The technology is said to have a 400m range, which is thought to be the longest range of any current LiDAR sensor.

Backed by Ford and Volkswagen (VW) Group, Argo claims that its new self-driving system (SDS) has the ability to detect hard-to-see objects with greater precision and from further away.

The new SDS can also handle sudden transitions in light levels and detect small, moving objects such as animals.

Argo’s solution is said to be a significant step towards bringing AVs to roads.

According to TechCrunch, the company is testing its system in some Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans and Ford Escape Hybrid sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

By the end of this year, Argo reportedly plans to shift its test fleet entirely to 150 or so Escape Hybrids featuring the sensor.

In the near future, the technology could be noticed in Ford and VW commercial vehicles.

The company said that its sensor can safely operate vehicles on city streets, in the suburbs and on motorways.

In June 2019, Argo AI announced that it would establish a self-driving car research centre at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a project backed by Ford.

The company has agreed to provide around $15m over the next five years for the development of the facility, known as Carnegie Mellon University Argo AI Centre for Autonomous Vehicle Research.