Velodyne LiDAR Reveals Low-Cost, Solid-State “Velarray” LiDAR, Full Production In 2018

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The most prominent company in the LiDAR sector, Velodyne, has announced that it will be releasing a new, low-cost, fixed-laser, solid-state LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor dubbed “Velarray” next year.

To be more clear on timing, the company reportedly plans to put engineering sample units in the hands of interested parties by the end of the year, and begin customer demonstration of the core technology by the summer. Full production will begin in 2018 at Velodyne’s manufacturing facility in San Jose.

The company has revealed that the new product will have a target price “in the hundreds of dollars when produced in mass volumes.”

The plan is apparently for the new product to be used in self-driving cars and advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) systems.

The press release provides more: “The new Velarray LiDAR sensor uses Velodyne’s proprietary ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) to achieve superior performance metrics in a small package size of 125mm x 50mm x 55mm that can be embedded into the front, sides, and corners of vehicles. It provides up to a 120-degree horizontal and 35-degree vertical field-of-view, with a 200-meter range even for low-reflectivity objects. With an automotive integrity safety level rating of ASIL B, Velarray will not only ensure safe operation in L4 and L5 autonomous vehicles but also in ADAS-enabled cars.”

The company’s President & Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Jellen, commented: “The Velarray enables not only fully autonomous vehicles, but also ADAS systems such as adaptive cruise control, while at the same time providing a miniature form factor and mass production target prices. It offers a unique value proposition empowering a vehicle system that improves the safe driving experience, alongside an upgraded path to full autonomy.”

While Velodyne has no doubt been working on the new product for quite a while, the timing of the announcement is interesting, as the startup Luminar recently got a lot of good coverage in the media. Maybe the choice of timing was meant to allow this announcement to overshadow that good press for Luminar?

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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