First Sensor snatches up multi-million supply contract from Velodyne

January 31, 2017 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
First Sensor snatches up multi-million supply contract from Velodyne
With autonomous driving anticipating a very sophisticated sensory equipment for the vehicles, manufacturers of Lidar sensors enjoy a winning streak. Now First Sensor AG has joined in. The Berlin, Germany based sensor tech company is expanding its cooperation with leading Lidar system vendor Velodyne.

At the SPIE Photonics West optical technologies trade fair, First Sensor and Velodyne LiDAR announced an expansion of their cooperation for avalanche photodiodes (APD), which has been in place since 2005.
The strategic supply cooperation has a volume in the millions over the next three years. Velodyne LiDAR uses First Sensor’s APDs in its entire product range of LiDAR scanners. Together with radar and camera systems, LiDAR is of fundamental importance for autonomous driving. In this field, Velodyne is supplier to a large number of OEMs and tech companies in the autonomous revolution space.

According to First Sensor CEO Dirk Rothweiler, the company’s avalanche diodes cover a wide usage spectrum, ranging from length measurement to machine safety. By using these products in LiDAR scanners for autonomous driving, the company hopes to tap into a new market “with huge growth potential with this product,, he said. 

First Sensor’s commitment to the automotive industry started in 2009 with an APD array that entered series production for carmaker Chrysler. In addition to the USA, this technology is now being used in Europe and Asia. Since multiple development projects had reached prototype phase by the end of last year, First Sensor is confident to generate further business from these products in the future.

The sensor specialist offers individual diodes as well as arrays suited for applications such as distance measurement or optical communications. They are used in the growth markets of industry 4.0, medical technology and autonomous driving.

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