January 30, 2013

LIDAR on Top of Self-Driving Cars, Velodyne

Velodyne, the LIDAR on top of self-driving cars.

How do you identify a self-driving car today?

The LIDAR on top.

You may have seen the spinning LIDAR on top of a self-driving car. The LIDAR is the most striking feature of a self-driving car and perhaps the most enabling technology. It detects other objects in the surroundings and feeds the data to the algos driving the car.

Velodyne makes the LIDAR used in Google self-driving car and others. It can detect other cars in a 120-meter zone.

The HDL-64E LiDAR sensor is designed for obstacle detection and navigation of autonomous ground vehicles and marine vessels. Its durability, 360° field of view and very high data rate makes this sensor ideal for the most demanding perception applications as well as 3D mobile data collection and mapping applications.

The HDL-64E's patented one-piece design uses 64 fixed-mounted lasers to measure the surrounding environment, each mechanically mounted to a specific vertical angle, with the entire unit spinning. This approach dramatically increases reliability, field of view and point cloud density.

The LIDAR sends its data via UDP ethernet packets.

Tags: velodyne, who makes lidar for self-driving cars, google self-driving car lidar, velodyne lidar, spinning LIDAR, rotating LIDAR, LIDAR detection range