r/IAmA - Waymo Engineering Leads AMA

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In the fifth generation of our in-house designed hardware sensor suite, we will be introducing a new sensor modality.

I’m guessing this will either be ultrasonics or thermal imaging. It could also be audio, but I think Waymo vehicles already use microphones.

They said they could hear sirens so definitely already have microphones. I think your guess on NearIR is mine as well.