With the idea of becoming the leading lidar sensor supplier to the self driving car market Velodyne is investing in a factory that can produce not thousands, but millions of sensors next year. Think of it as a megafactory that will be fully automated thereby driving down the cost of production and making it difficult for others to compete. The goal is to eliminate the need for factory workers. That’s the plan at least.
To fund this effort, at least in part, Velodyne raised $150 million from China’s Baidu and Ford last year, but what is not entirely clear is what part of the new production is going to be for the new solid state sensors that Velodyne has also announced they are working on. It would seem that the production lines would be very different for mechanical scanners vs. solid state.
In any case Velodyne is betting that their ability to produce huge quantities of sensors is what the major manufacturers are going to be looking for. This article in Forbes provides an in-depth look at the company and its vision.