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Day 1 SPAR 3D 2018

Lights, camera, action and with that SPAR 3D 2018 and AEC Next were launched. The Anaheim Convention Center is a very nice venue. Lisa Murray welcomed the standing room only audience by noting that this was the 15th year for SPAR. While the first one was focused on expensive hardware and early adopters today’s conference is much more diverse. In addition this is the first year for the co-location with AEC Next which will really come into play on day 2 when the combined exhibit hall opens.

The three keynotes on Monday were an interesting mix of a scientist from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, an engineer from oil giant BP and a visualization guru from chipmaker and drone user Intel. The focus of all three talks was on the new technology being employed today such as the virtual reality headsets that NASA is using for their 2020 mission to Mars; the machine learning that is being employed at BP to develop a “cognitive” facility; and the full lidar services that Intel is providing to the public.

For me the more interesting sessions involved three companies that are trying to position themselves as key players in the autonomous vehicle market. The first was Louay Eldada, CEO of Quanergy who emphasized the fact that they have one of the first solid state lidars which he held in the palm of his hand. In a somewhat surprising statement, but one that you know I support, Eldada stated that he does not believe SAE Level 5 is attainable.

James Dawson from Civil Maps has two major rules that support their vision. The first is that all driverless vehicles will be required to communicate with each other and that they must be capable of sending and retrieving data from the cloud. I don’t hear much talk about either of those.

The final presenter was by Barry Behnken, co-founder of AEye who I think had the most interesting premise namely that 80 to 90% of the data being collected by most systems today is not needed and it is causing a lot of problems. What AEye is attempting to do is collect the 10% of information that is really needed. Remember scanners and cameras are dumb.

That’s it for now as I have to get to the morning keynote.






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