June 14, 2021
Velodyne Lidar has announced the next generation of its Velabit sensor, addressing cost, safety and design challenges for autonomous solutions while improving performance. Using Velodyne’s proprietary micro-lidar array architecture (MLA), the Velabit delivers an ultra-wide field of view (FoV) and higher resolution, the company said.
The solid-state sensor now has a simultaneously achievable maximum horizontal FoV of 90 degrees and maximum vertical FoV of 70 degrees, approximately three times more points per second than the previous model, Velodyne said.
“With our next-generation Velabit, Velodyne continues to innovate with a sensor that has small size for sleek, stylish integration while delivering high-quality performance,” said Anand Gopalan, CEO of Velodyne. “Our dedicated engineering team worked to bring our customers’ needs to life in under a year, highlighting our commitment to meeting market demands. And our goal is to not only meet market demands, but transform lives globally. We believe this sensor will democratize lidar-based safety and autonomy across many different industries.”
The sensor’s small form factor and low power consumption aims to maximize battery life and vehicle range, giving use cases for safety applications, including:
- Automotive and new mobility
- Autonomous mobile robots
- Industrial forklift and warehouse
- Infrastructure and smart city
- Sidewalk and last-mile delivery robots
- UAV mapping and navigation.
Engineered to be an optimal automotive-grade lidar solution for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous vehicles, the Velabit sensor can fill sensing gaps, helping automakers achieve full coverage around a vehicle, Velodyne said. The sensor enables perception coverage for ADAS features such as blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic detection, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking. The wide vertical FoV also make the sensor ideal for near-field sensing and robotics applications, the company added.
The Velabit will be combined with Velodyne’s lidar-based perception software, Vella, to streamline customer projects and advance several vehicle safety functions. The software translates the sensor’s point cloud data into perception outputs, including object classification and tracking, obstacle detection, scene segmentation, and object velocity, which can be utilized by vehicle systems. When combined with vehicle odometry data, Vella can provide time and distance to collision measurements, enabling safer vehicle response. The sensor can also be combined with other Velodyne lidar technologies, such as the Velarray H800 for high-speed operation or function as a stand-alone lidar solution for low-speed applications.
Velodyne said the new sensor will be available in mass production quantities as early as Q4 2022. The company said customers and others can attend the upcoming Velabit Demo Days to see the Velabit in action and receive an opportunity to reserve future capacity.
More details are available at the Velabit product page here.