Hi-resolution LiDAR gets compact and affordable

November 14, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Velodyne has introduced a LiDAR sensor that has, according to the company, the world's best resolution, longest range, and widest field of view. With 128 laser beams, the VLS-128 will replace the HDL-64 LiDAR as the industry standard for high performance. At the same time, the company promises price cuts.

High-resolution LiDAR is critical to navigate autonomous cars and provide vehicle safety. Velodyne expressed its expectation that the VLS-128 will become the new standard for fully autonomous cars and cars equipped with advanced safety features because of the quantity of data it produces in real time at top speed.

A LiDAR sensor such as the one Velodyne introduced provides real-time 3D images all around the vehicle, far into the distance, producing billions of data points eagerly understood and consumed by a computer. LiDAR systems are said to be more reliable, based on measurements, and therefore more accurate than a camera based safety system. 

Velodyne LiDAR, Inc. founder and CEO David Hall invented the 360-degree solid-state hybrid LiDAR ten years ago to use and sell in the Darpa Grand Challenge. He designed and sold the HDL-64 LiDAR, which since then became the gold standard LiDAR for the autonomous car industry. However, the system is said to be rather expensive. “Such as sensor costs almost as much as a small compact car alone”, an insider disclosed to eeNews Europe. For this reason, many companies across the industry are working on compact solid-state LiDAR sensors that do not require moveable parts and therefore can be produced and sold much cheaper.


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