Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Velodyne Shows "Quantum Leap in LiDAR Technology"

BusinessWire: Under the leadership of visionary inventor and entrepreneur David Hall, Velodyne announces VLS-128 LiDAR sensor for autonomous vehicle market. Featuring a 128 laser channels, the VLS-128 is said to be "an extreme step forward in LiDAR vision systems, featuring the trifecta of highest resolution, longest range, and the widest surround field-of-view of any LiDAR system available today."

The VLS-128 is the best LiDAR sensor on the planet, delivering the most advanced real-time 3D vision for safe driving,” said Mike Jellen, President, Velodyne LiDAR. “Automotive OEMs and new tech entrants in the autonomous space have been hoping and waiting for this breakthrough.

Velodyne’s VLS-128 succeeds the HDL-64, still considered to be the industry benchmark for high resolution. Velodyne’s new flagship model has a 10 times higher resolving power than the HDL-64.

The Velodyne VLS-128 is an all-out assault on high-performance LiDAR for autonomous vehicles. With this product, we are redefining the limits of LiDAR and we will be able to see things no one has ever been able to see with this technology,” said David Hall, Founder and CEO, Velodyne LiDAR.

Velodyne has performed customer demonstrations of the VLS-128 and plans to produce it in scale at the company’s new Megafactory in San Jose. Hall adds, “We have been demonstrating the product for the first time to customers and they can’t wait to get their hands on them. We will be shipping the VLS-128 by the end of 2017.

With Velodyne’s efforts in advanced robotics, my goal is to reinvent manufacturing in the United States, making the business case for US-based production that gets shipped to autonomous vehicle development projects the world over,” said Hall.

Based on mass-produced semiconductor technologies, the VLS-128 is designed for automated assembly in Velodyne’s Megafactory using a proprietary laser alignment and manufacturing system to meet the growing demand for LiDAR-based vision systems.

VLS-128 (right) succeeds the HDL-64 (left)
Comparison of VLS-128 (top) to the HDL-64 (bottom) point clouds

A Youtube video demonstrates the new LiDAR speed, resolution and range:

Update: MIT Technology Review publishes Velodyne CTO Anand Gopalan statement that VLS-128 "beams are separated by angles as small as 0.1°, with a range of 300 meters, and create as many as four million data points per second as they spin through 360 degrees."

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