Aurora, like many other companies developing self-driving tech, believes lidar is an integral component in future autonomous vehicles, which is why it's purchasing a company that specializes in building it.

Aurora announced on Friday that it has made plans to purchase Blackmore, a lidar manufacturer based in Bozeman, Montana.

The company specializes in a type of lidar technology called Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave.

The technical bits are a little on the thick side -- Aurora talks about photonic hardware, signal processing, and point-by-point velocity -- but Aurora says this acquisition will allow it to make its hardware "safer, more efficient and more cost effective."

Lidar has grown in name recognition as more companies dive into AV development.

Whereas radar uses radio waves to detect objects, lidar uses specific wavelengths of light, collecting reflection data down to the individual photon to create a "map" of the world around it.

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