Alphabet’s self-driving car business unit Waymo has started selling its LiDAR sensors to customers that are not rivals to its core robotaxi business.

LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging. It is a laser-mapping sensor used on autonomous vehicles to map the surrounding environment.

Waymo will not offer its technology to rival self-driving firms, instead offering it to customers operating in robotics, security, and agriculture technology spheres.

Waymo started as Google’s self-driving car project in 2009. In 2017, the company started developing its own set of sensors, reported The Verge.

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Waymo LiDAR team head Simon Verghese told Bloomberg: “As we scale our fleet and build more cars, we need to make sure the cost of the sensor suite comes down as well.

“We’re excited to see what people might do with this and to explore whether some of these spinoff technologies give us another pillar to our business.”

“As we scale our fleet and build more cars, we need to make sure the cost of the sensor suite comes down as well.”

Waymo’s self-driving cars use three types of sensors. It has announced plans to sell one of its three 3D LiDAR sensors, Laser Bear Honeycomb, to select partners.

Laser Bear Honeycomb is a short-range sensor to track the vehicle’s perimeter and is considered useful for non-automotive applications.

Given its wide field of vision, this sensor can quickly map out a complete room.

It was developed so that Waymo autonomous cars do not have any blind spots close to the car and ground.

The firm has not disclosed the price it would be charging for Laser Bear Honeycomb.

Bloomberg reported Veloydne’s VelaDome short-range LiDAR is priced at around $4,000 per unit. The price is reduced by half when bought in bulk.

Velodyne plans to sell more than 10,000 LiDAR sensors in 2019.