Benefits of the Consumerization of Lidar?

Velodyne_Solid-State Hybrid_Ultra Puck_Front_2kFor those of us who observed the consumerization of GPS, largely as a result of car navigation apps, we have seen this movie before. The only difference is that we are substituting lidar for GPS or GNSS.

Of possible interest to the professional community is the development of solid state lidar sensors. Both Velodyne and Quanergy, who claims they have the first, are announcing these at the Consumer Electronics Show. (See below)

My question is how likely is it for these consumer products to drive change in the professional market? We certainly have seen the benefits in the professional camera market from the investments in consumer cameras. It is not as clear in the GNSS market and I think it remains to be seen what impact this will have in the professional 3D laser scanning market.

What do you think?

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Velodyne announced today that it has received a purchase order from Ford Motor Company for its next-generation advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) LiDAR sensor.

Velodyne’s new Solid-State Hybrid Ultra Puck™ Auto is designed to combine the functionality of its pioneering 3D LiDAR sensors in a miniaturized form factor while extending sensing range to 200 meters. Velodyne set target pricing of less than $500 per unit in automotive mass production quantities. The Solid-State Hybrid Ultra Puck Auto will be the first affordable ADAS sensor capable of supporting ADAS levels 1-4/5, including fully autonomous driving.

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Quanergy Systems, Inc., the leading provider of LiDAR sensors and smart sensing solutions, today announced the world premiere of its solid state LiDAR sensor at CES 2016. Seamlessly integrated into the body of a Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe, the S3 LiDAR sensor is being demonstrated live in the company’s booth #36065 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Quanergy’s S3 is the most compact 3D LiDAR sensor and is the fundamental component necessary for the emergence of autonomous vehicles that can maneuver in any environment, on highways or in urban areas. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the unit can be mounted behind a grill, inside a bumper, inside a side-view mirror, or behind a rear-view mirror. The S3 accurately creates a real-time long-range 3D view of the environment and provides the ability to recognize objects.

Proprietary solid state technology is the backbone of the S3. The sensor contains no moving parts, on a macro scale and a micro scale, resulting in the highest level of reliability and the longest lifetime. More compact than a small point-and-shoot camera, weighing less than 11 ounces, and having low power consumption, the S3 can be used in any application that can benefit from smart, capable, always-aware perceptive vision. Through the interaction of three main components – laser, receiver and signal processor – the S3 generates half a million point-cloud data points per second.

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