A system for enhanced object detection and identification is disclosed. The system provides new capabilities in object detection and identification. The system can be used with a variety of vehicles, such as autonomous cars, human-driven motor vehicles, robots, drones, and aircraft and can detect objects in adverse operating conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or sun glare. Enhanced object detection can also be used to detect objects in the environment around a stationary object. Additionally, such systems can rapidly identify and classify objects based on the encoded information in the emitted or reflected signals from the materials.