Imaging lidars are one of the hottest topics in the optronics industry. The need to sense the surroundings of every autonomous vehicle has pushed forward a career to decide the final solution to be implemented. The diversity of state-of-the art approaches to the solution brings, however, a large uncertainty towards such decision. This results often in contradictory claims from different manufacturers and developers. Within this paper we intend to provide an introductory overview of the technology linked to imaging lidars for autonomous vehicles. We start with the main single-point measurement principles, and then present the different imaging strategies implemented 8 in the different solutions. An overview of the main components most frequently used in practice is also presented. Finally, a brief section on pending issues for lidar development has been included, 10 in order to discuss some of the problems which still need to be solved before an efficient final implementation.Beyond this introduction, the reader is provided with a detailed bibliography containing both relevant books and state of the art papers.