A company called WaveSense is trying to add Ground Penetrating RADAR into the array of sensors that are used on self-driving cars. WaveSense uses gpr + gps to map the road. This, in theory, could allow the vehicle to determine the location and position within a centimeter of accuracy.
WaveSense explains the need for the tech in this way
"Existing autonomous vehicle and ADAS technologies seek to recreate the perfect human driver by emulating human vision and cognition. But autonomous and driver-assisted vehicles can and must become safer than human drivers. Instead of imitating visual human driving, WaveSense’s ground-penetrating radar helps autonomous and driver-assisted vehicles see what humans cannot: that which lies below the ground.
WaveSense’s subterranean radar images enable a whole new dimension of sight. With the addition of subsurface data to above-ground camera and LIDAR sensor information, self-driving and ADAS-enabled cars now have a complete toolkit to work with when making driving decisions.
Safety is everyone’s #1 priority in the industry. Fusing several independent approaches—from cameras or LIDAR and GPS/INS to GPR—is the best way to ensure robustness, so that no one technology can cause a significant (and deadly) error. " -- the WaveSense Team
How effective this system would be in very wet or rainy conditions is still yet to be sceen. Another possible use case would be equipping the system to a sampling of government vehicles like that of the highway patrol. This would give valuable real-time data to the DOT on the conditions of our highway infrastructure, and bridges. As well as information on areas of black ice or other potential hazards such as developing sink holes, before they become a problem.
For more Information on WaveSense you can find them at https://wavesense.io/
And for more information on GPR you can visit us at xenogenesis.net