Velodyne Introduces the Ultra Puck Real-time 3D LIDAR Sensor for the Automotive Market
MORGAN HILL, Calif.—Velodyne LiDAR introduced the ULTRA Puck VLP-32A, combining best-in-class performance with a small form factor and the high reliability that the automotive industry demands.
The company made the announcement just ahead of the SAE 2016 World Congress and Exhibition, April 12-14, at Detroit’s Cobo Center (Velodyne LiDAR Booth #642).
The ULTRA Puck VLP-32A is the company’s most advanced LiDAR sensor to date, delivering high performance at a cost-effective price point. In keeping with Velodyne’s patented 360° surround view, the ULTRA Puck is able to see all things all the time to provide real-time 3D data to enable autonomous vehicles. What separates the ULTRA Puck from its predecessors and other LiDAR sensors on the market is a design created expressly for the exacting requirements of the automotive industry. The ULTRA Puck features innovative breakthroughs such as a range up to 200 meters and support for 32 LiDAR channels, providing enhanced resolution to easily identify objects. The 32 channels in the ULTRA Puck are deployed over a vertical field of view of 28° and are configured in a unique pattern to provide improved resolution in the horizon.
“With its unprecedented field of view and point density, the ULTRA Puck VLP-32A is simply the industry’s most advanced 3D LiDAR sensor,” said Mike Jellen, Velodyne LiDAR’s president and COO. “We’re pleased to offer the ULTRA Puck to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers dedicated to improving vehicle safety and transportation convenience. The ULTRA Puck stands as the first affordable LiDAR sensor capable of addressing vehicle automation levels 1-5 as defined by SAE, from today’s driver assist features up to fully autonomous driving in the future.”
Velodyne LiDAR worked with the world’s leading carmakers to ensure that the ULTRA Puck met their performance specifications. In particular, Velodyne has worked closely with Ford Motor Company for the past 10 years through its use of the first two generations of LiDAR technology in Ford’s autonomous vehicle research program. Ford is now the first automaker to order the new ULTRA Puck for use in its recently announced expanded autonomous vehicle development fleet, which will hit the roads later this year.
According to Frost and Sullivan, the automated driving market expects to see shipments grow from 1.5 million units in 2018 to 6.2 million units in 2028, which represents a compound annual growth rate of more than 15 percent. “The autonomous car market is still in the early stage of growth but it’s clearly ready for a huge explosion over the next several years and LiDAR sensors such as the ULTRA Puck will be a key component to make self-driving cars a reality,“ said Praveen Chandrasekar, Research Manager at Frost and Sullivan.
“With the self-driving car market poised for massive growth over the next decade, the ULTRA Puck is the perfect LiDAR sensor to support automation levels 1 to 5,” Jellen said. Velodyne LiDAR is currently sampling the ULTRA Puck VLP-32A in limited quantities to strategic early adopters in the automotive industry with plans to support greater quantities in Q2 with full production slated for Q4 of 2016.
About Velodyne LiDAR
Founded in 1983 and based in California’s Silicon Valley, Velodyne LiDAR Inc. is a technology company known worldwide for its real-time LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors. The company evolved after founder/inventor David Hall competed in the 2004-05 DARPA Grand Challenge using stereovision technology. Based on his experience during this challenge, Hall recognized the limitations of stereovision and developed the HDL-64 Solid-State Hybrid LiDAR sensor. Velodyne subsequently released its compact, lightweight HDL‑32E sensor, available for many applications including UAVs, and the new VLP-16 LiDAR Puck, a 16-channel real-time LiDAR sensor that is both substantially smaller and dramatically less expensive than previous generation sensors. Market research firm Frost & Sullivan has honored the company and the VLP-16 with its 2015 North American Automotive ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) Sensors Product Leadership Award. Since 2007, Velodyne LiDAR has emerged as the leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of real-time LiDAR sensor technology used in a variety of commercial applications including autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety systems, 3D mobile mapping, 3D aerial mapping and security. For more information, visit www.velodynelidar.com.