Lidar as a Service May Be the New AV Business Model

point cloud image Lidar as a Service

Lidar as a Service

Subscription sales have helped countless software companies rack up big-time revenue. Are autonomous-driving technology startups about to borrow a page from that playbook? Some think lidar as a service may become the new business model for some of the cash strapped start-ups.

From an article at PitchBook by Priyamvada Mathur.

After a year that saw lidar startups strike key partnerships and reel in record levels of venture dollars, their next big challenge is turning to a more pedestrian question: How best to structure their basic business model.

Lidar and perception technology startups are now scrambling to dominate the niche driverless-vehicle market. And some of them are being challenged to bundle their hardware and software solution for mass adoption, gain exposure among self-driving automakers and assist them in reducing costs. Continue reading

Posted in AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, computer vision, driverless vehicles, Government, Hardware, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Research, Sensors, Software, solid state lidar, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cartesian Coordinates – We Can Do Better

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Cartesian Coordinates – We Can Do Better

Rene Descartes passed away midway through the 17th century but his system for ordering the natural world into 3 planes continues to serve as the fundamental building block of the geospatial industry to this day. The Cartesian Coordinates of X,Y, Z are of basic and critical importance to both pioneering geospatial professionals and entry level algebra students.

There are 3 ideas to unpack here. The first being that Descartes was a brilliant scientist who devised a logical and beautifully simple system for ordering the unordered natural world around him. By inventing Cartesian coordinates Descartes was able to nominally measure in 3-dimensions and thusly organize phenomena into spatial planes; the X, Y and Z. Descartes’ system is so effective that it is in use in nearly every facet of the geospatial industry today in a format that Descartes himself would recognize as unchanged since his day. Continue reading

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Cameras and HD Maps Are Lidar Alternative

photo of Cameras and HD Maps Replace Lidar

Cameras and HD Maps Replace Lidar

A lot of media coverage of self-driving technology has focused on a handful of big companies with well-known brands: Google, Uber, Tesla, and GM. But there’s another company working on self-driving technology that might ultimately prove even more important. That company is Mobileye, an Israeli startup that was acquired by Intel in 2017 and who is using cameras and HD maps instead of lidar.

From an article in Ars Technica by Timothy B. Lee.

Mobileye doesn’t have Elon Musk’s star power or Google’s billions. But it has something that’s arguably even more important: a dominant position in today’s market for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Mobileye had a very public split with Tesla back in 2016, but it continues to do business with a lot of other carmakers. Mobileye says it shipped 17.4 million systems last year, which means 17.4 million customers bought cars with Mobileye’s cameras and HD maps, chips, and software. Continue reading

Posted in artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, computer vision, Data, driverless vehicles, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Photogrammetry, Radar, Research, Safety, Sensors, Software, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intraoral Laser Scanning in Tijuana, Mexico

Dentists in Tijuana, Mexico are using the most advanced dental equipment, including intraoral laser scanning to provide less expensive dental care.

Photo of Facility in Tijuana, Mexico intraoral laser scanning

Facility in Tijuana, Mexico

Just minutes from the U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico there is a dental practice, Mexico Dental Network in Tijuana, that has the world’s most advanced computerized dental equipment, plus and on-site lab. Since most Americans do not have dental insurance the fact that the Network can offer same day service at significantly reduced rates from those in the U.S. makes it a very attractive alternative.

How can they offer this service? One of the answers is intraoral laser scanning.

Continue reading

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FedTech is a Unique Start-up Platform

logo for FedTech Provides Support for Start-ups

FedTech Provides Support for Start-ups

I received an email from an individual that is a volunteer with a very interesting program appropriately called FedTech since it seeks to match entrepreneurs with scientists and their IP who work at federal facilities such as NASA.

I had an interesting conversation with Jason who is part of a group that has been assigned patented technologies from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center related to LiDAR monitoring of gas concentrations from satellites. The patents involve a novel laser waveguide with no mechanical parts and less energy usage, and also an innovative etalon spectrometer on the detection side.

Jason explained, “With the FedTech program, we are trying to explore potential use-cases or markets where these inventions could make a difference. We are also trying to evaluate current technologies to determine if the patents may offer improvements or advantages.” Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, airborne LiDAR, artificial intelligence, atmospheric, Business Development, Government, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, remote sensing, Research, satellites, Sensors, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lidar Sensor Leasing Program Offered to Developers

photo of Lidar Sensor Leasing Program Offered

Lidar Sensor Leasing Program Offered

Upstart lidar maker Luminar, with one of the most sophisticated laser sensors for self-driving cars, is expanding beyond hardware with the addition of much-needed commercial software and a computing system that makes its technology plug-and-play capable for autonomous vehicle developers. And to get into more test fleets, the company is trying a novel lidar sensor leasing program that lets partners lease the system as Luminar scales up for mass-market lidar production.

From an article in Forbes by Alan Ohnsman.

Dubbed “Hydra,” Luminar showed off the new system at CES in Las Vegas this week, combining its lidar sensor, software that’s updated over the air and a computer system using NVIDIA’s Xavier chip. Subscription prices for the Iris lidar range from $500 to $1000 per month, depending on the level of automated driving capability a company is trying to develop, CEO and founder Austin Russell tells Forbes. Subscription pricing for the full Hydra system depends on the number of sensors per vehicle and application, from semi-automated highway use or trucking up to fully driverless urban operation. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, computer vision, driverless vehicles, Lidar, machine learning, Radar, Research, Safety, Sensors, Software, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waymo Database Access for Academic Research

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Waymo Database Access

Academic researchers have now been granted access to the Waymo database, amassed by its fleet of self-driving cars.

The move is a way to “give back to the community,” says Drago Anguelov, Waymo’s head of research, “not an admission in any way that we have problems” that the company can’t solve on its own. Deadlines for self-driving cars have come and gone, and though Waymo still seems clearly in the lead, the advent of absolutely driverless cars still appears many years away.

Waymo’s competitors are free to register and look at the data set, so long as they don’t use it to build commercial self-driving cars. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Cloud, computer vision, Consumer, Data, Deep Learning, driverless vehicles, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, point clouds, Research, Software | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D Scanning a Roller Coaster

Roller coaster installation and maintenance is serious business. Borrowing from The Perfectionists tolerances are tight especially when you take into account the speed of travel and the forces involved.

For the past 35 years, Dr. Masoud Sanayei, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University, has conducted research on structural health monitoring of bridges and other structures. By using instruments such as strain gauges, accelerometers, tiltmeters, thermocouples, optical sensors, and various data acquisition systems, he is able to collect, measure, and process information that enables him to comprehensively evaluate the condition of these structures.

In order to perform his finite element analysis on the roller coaster Dr. Sanayei needed a detailed 3D model of the structure. Since the CAD model did not exist East Coast Metrology was called in to perform a detailed as-found survey of the structure. All of the components from the foundation up were documented. In addition a FARO Edge Portable CMM Arm was used to more accurately capture high stress areas.

A complete 3D solid model was created including the point clouds and images. The preliminary analysis indicates that the stresses are far below those that would indicate any kind of problem.

For additional information click here.

 

Posted in 3D Modeling, Inspection, Metrology, Sensors, Surveying Engineering | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Green Business Challenge – A YGP Initiative

Nasa Going Green Business Challlenge

YGP Going Green Business Challenge

I have been thinking about how to provide the Younger Geospatial Professional’s group with a high impact project that would have a universal appeal and that the group could get excited about working on.

I have an idea that I would like to share. For now I am proposing to call it the Going Green Business Challenge. This is an effort to address climate change at the local, grassroots level, around the globe through your work environment.

The basic idea is that each YGP (Younger Geospatial Professional) will become an advocate within their work group for driving the business model of that group to seek out projects that have a positive effect on reversing the destructive environmental path that the planet is currently on. Continue reading

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Levels of Driving Automation – There’s a Standard

image of autonomous vehicle with levels of drving automation

There are Standard Levels of Driving Automation

With all of the news about autonomous vehicles coming from CES 2020 this week I thought it would be of value to re-publish this article on standards for driving automation.

Unlike many technical markets, such as the lidar and 3D laser scanning  industry there is good news when it comes to a standard for describing levels of driving automation. The consumer markets have learned that developing and agreeing on standards, especially in emerging industries will benefit all parties and lead to increased productivity.

Continue reading

Posted in AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, computer vision, Consumer, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, Orgs, solid state lidar, Standards | Tagged , | Leave a comment