SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a surprise move, Velodyne announced a volume increase and cost reduction of its most popular LiDAR product, the VLP-16. The significant cost reduction—up to 50 percent lower in price—is paving the way for advanced autonomy and roadway safety. Since Velodyne’s announcement on January 1st, customer response has been enthusiastic. “Customers are cheering the lower cost of the Velodyne LiDAR, because it allows for widespread adoption of safety systems,” said Marta Hall, President and Chief Business Development Officer, Velodyne LiDAR.
Inventor and visionary CEO David Hall of Velodyne LiDAR states, “We want to make 2018 a year of optimism for the autonomous vehicle, especially as the first waves of robocabs hit the road.” Velodyne LiDAR’s goal is the democratization of transportation safety by making it accessible to every man, woman, and child in the world as quickly as possible. This has been made possible by the cost reduction of Velodyne’s most popular sensor, the Puck VLP-16, which has spurred hope and excitement for the development and widespread availability of safe autonomous vehicles. “Wow! The VLP-16 pricing announcement came sooner than expected. This will allow us to evaluate 3D LiDAR for additional applications where cost is sensitive,” said a research & design manager.
The exciting announcement has garnered overwhelming positive response. “This is brilliant and welcome news. Thank you for proactively bringing this cost reduction to us. We look forward to continuing to work with Velodyne,” said an automotive manufacturer. Another customer states, “with this cost reduction, we can use 3D perception to solve many of the issues we have with our current 2D-based robots.” This sentiment echoes Velodyne LiDAR’s mission to accelerate their customers efforts as much as possible.
Demand for the VLP-16 was off the charts in 2017, and in just a matter of days the demand has increased even more. As a result, increased capacity will continue to be passed along as savings to customers. “With this cost reduction, we’ll be able to get more Pucks into the hands of more customers, support the growing number of autonomous vehicle development fleets around the world, and start creating a better tomorrow,” said David Hall.
Velodyne LiDAR has significantly ramped up production of sensors due to the establishment of its San Jose Megafactory in 2017. The Megafactory has doubled its full-time employees within six months and continues to grow. “We have created hundreds of jobs right here in the Bay Area by creating LiDAR sensors that will ultimately benefit everyone on the roadway,” said Marta Hall. Furthermore, advanced large-scale automated manufacturing techniques are streamlined for increased high-quality production and reduced prices. Even as automation has increased, so has hiring as the company invests heavily in automation and the skilled support staff that it requires. Velodyne takes pride not only in its exceptional products, but also its investment in US-based production and boosting the local job market.
Today, the Megafactory builds the highest performance range of Velodyne LiDAR sensors, including the Ultra Puck™ VLP-32C, the recently announced VLS-128, and the Velarray. “We have both ends of the spectrum – highest performance and solid state – which makes Velodyne best in class,” states Anand Gopalan, Chief Technology Officer, Velodyne LiDAR.
The VLP-16 has already had an immediate and widespread impact on multiple industries, most notably automotive. “This sensor has opened the door for advanced LiDAR technology in several industries that benefit from real-time 3D data in a small form factor,” explains Mike Jellen, President, Velodyne LiDAR. It delivers a small, accurate, reliable, and affordable sensor for real-time 3D vision with 100 meters of range and a 360-degree field-of-view. Today, the VLP-16 is one of the most widely adopted and popular LiDAR sensors ever made. Its use cases are growing by the day, and span a multitude of industries, including automotive, freight, 3D mapping, unmanned aerial vehicles, industrial, and robotics. “As interest in LiDAR technology grows around the world, we’re gratified to know that the Puck will be one of the most widely used and accessible sensors available,” added Jellen.
With the lower cost and burgeoning widespread accessibility, Velodyne’s vision of safety and accessibility in autonomy is being achieved. Velodyne LiDAR, the world’s leader of LiDAR sensors, is creating products that are of the highest quality with the intention of availability for all. The future is now.
About Velodyne LiDAR
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Velodyne is a technology company known worldwide for its real-time 3D LiDAR computing and software platforms. The company evolved after founder David Hall invented the HDL-64 Solid-State Hybrid LiDAR sensor in 2005. Since then, Velodyne LiDAR Inc. emerged as the unmatched market leader of real-time 3D vision systems used in a variety of commercial applications including autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety systems, mobile mapping, aerial mapping, and security. Its products range from the high-performance, surround view Ultra-Puck™ VLP-32, classic HDL-32/64 and cost-effective VLP-16, to the upcoming, hidden Velarray™. Velodyne’s rich suite of perception software and algorithms are the key enablers of its perception systems. Velodyne supports customers from offices in San Jose, Detroit, Frankfurt, and Beijing. For more information, visit http://www.velodynelidar.com.