This startup helps self-driving cars literally feel the road

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Self-driving cars have a number of ways to "see" the world around them—not only with cameras but also with lidars, radars, and other sensors. Many self-driving cars also have microphones that give them a sense of hearing, allowing them to detect honking horns, blaring sirens, screeching tires, and so forth.

An Israeli startup called Mobi-Wize is aiming to give cars—self-driving and otherwise—a sense of touch. And no, that's not just a metaphor; they literally want to enable cars to learn from the physical contact between the tires and the road.

Rather than installing a new suite of sensors in vehicles, the company aims to draw on sensors already in vehicles—most notably wheel-speed sensors, along with data on the position of the gas and brake pedals, steering wheel, and so on—to draw conclusions about road conditions.

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