Velodyne LiDAR announced its new fixed-laser, solid-state Velarray LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor, a cost-effective yet high-performance and rugged automotive product in a small form factor. With the Velarray sensor, which can be seamlessly embedded in both autonomous vehicles and advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) systems, Velodyne LiDAR claims it sets the industry standard for image quality and functionality delivered in smaller, more cost-effective form factors.
“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,” said Mike Jellen, President & Chief Commercial Officer, Velodyne LiDAR. “It offers a unique value proposition empowering a vehicle system that improves the safe driving experience, alongside an upgraded path to full autonomy.”
Velodyne LiDAR invented and patented the world’s first 3D real-time LiDAR sensors in 2005, and has since become the foundational sensor and market share leader for all truly autonomous vehicle development programs. Its surround-view sensors provide up to 360-degree coverage at long range and have been installed in thousands of vehicles. The Velarray was developed at Velodyne Labs, the company’s advanced research and development group, to combine the performance and reliability of its legacy LiDAR sensors with a small form factor to deliver the foremost technology and flexibility for enabling advanced safety and autonomous vehicles.
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. It has a target price in the hundreds of dollars when produced in mass volumes.
“Velodyne LiDAR is the undisputed industry standard for 3D, real-time images required for autonomous applications,” said Anand Gopalan, Chief Technical Officer, Velodyne LiDAR. “The Velarray sensor uses a game-changing architecture that allows Velodyne to develop LiDAR sensors in various small form factors to suit automotive design aesthetics, while providing optimum performance to ensure safe operation of autonomous vehicles.”
The company has scheduled customer demonstration of the core technology for the summer of 2017, with engineering sample units available by the end of 2017 ahead of production in 2018. It will be produced in scale at the company’s new Megafactory in San Jose.