Lidar sensor addresses cost, safety, and design challenges

Lidar sensor addresses cost, safety, and design challenges

New Products |
Lidar technology company Velodyne Lidar has introduced the next generation of its Velabit sensor, which the company says addresses the cost, safety, and design challenges of autonomous solutions while delivering state-of-the-art performance.
By Rich Pell

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The new device is equipped with the company’s proprietary micro-lidar array architecture (MLA) and delivers an ultra-wide field of view (FoV) and higher resolution. The solid-state Velabit sensor now has a simultaneously achievable maximum horizontal FoV of 90° and maximum vertical FOV of 70° – approximately three times more points per second than the previous model.

The next-generation Velabit, says the company, takes all of the company’s learnings to offer a configurable and dynamic field of view and delivers a high-resolution zoom capability, all within a compact and lightweight sensor.

“With our next-generation Velabit,” says Anand Gopalan, CEO, Velodyne Lidar, “Velodyne continues to innovate with a sensor that has small size for sleek, stylish integration while delivering high-quality performance. Our dedicated engineering team worked to bring our customers’ needs to life in under a year, highlighting our commitment to meeting market demands. And our goal is to not only meet market demands but transform lives globally. We believe this sensor will democratize lidar-based safety and autonomy across many different industries.”

The lightweight sensor features a small form factor and low power consumption to maximize battery life and vehicle range. The small size and low cost, says the company, allow the sensor the unique ability to be utilized in multiple industries and for critical safety applications, such as:

  • Automotive and new mobility
  • Autonomous mobile robots
  • Industrial forklift and warehouse
  • Infrastructure and smart city
  • Sidewalk and last-mile delivery
  • UAV mapping and navigation

The sensor is engineered to be an optimal automotive-grade lidar solution for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles, and can fill sensing gaps, helping automakers achieve full coverage around a vehicle. The sensor enables robust perception coverage for ADAS features including Blind-Spot Monitoring, Cross-Traffic Detection, and Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB). Additionally, says the company, the wide vertical field of view makes this an ideal technology for near-field sensing and robotics applications.

Velabit will be combined with the company’s lidar-based perception software, Vella, to streamline customers’ projects and advance a broad spectrum of vehicle safety functions. The software translates Velabit’s high-quality point cloud data into perception outputs, including object classification and tracking, obstacle detection, scene segmentation, and object velocity, that can be readily utilized by vehicle systems. When combined with vehicle odometry data, Vella provides time and distance to collision measurements, enabling safer vehicle response.

The sensor can also be combined with other Velodyne lidar technologies, such as the Velarray H800, for high-speed operation or function as a standalone lidar solution in low-speed applications. In combination with MLA, the company says its fully automated manufacturing process and global manufacturing partnerships enable cost optimization and high-quality mass production, as early as Q4 2022.

Velodyne Lidar

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