Ground penetrating radar technology developed by a US company is expected to increase the safety of autonomous vehicles, especially in hazardous weather conditions.

Patented by WaveSense, the new radar technology will significantly improve navigation safety and precision on the road with the company’s proprietary algorithms determining the car's exact location in five-dimensional space. Optical sensors currently in use in self-driving vehicles have their limitations in terms of not being able to see markings on the road in bad weather.

According to WaveSense CEO Tarik Bolat, the new GPR technology complements current sensor suites and works to fill in the gaps that lidar and camera processing can't cover.

The WaveSense ground penetrating radar system scans up to 10 feet below the road surface to lock on to stable ground. This data is then used in combination with data from the vehicle's other onboard sensors to map subterranean features and maintain its position on the road.

Originally created by MIT for the military for use in combat situations, the radar technology has now been adapted to improve safety in autonomous vehicles.