Velodyne Lidar Introduces Next-Generation Sensor for Autonomous Applications

By Mike Ball / 17 Jun 2021

Velodyne Lidar Velabit SensorVelodyne Lidar has introduced the next generation of its Velabit sensor, designed for autonomous vehicle applications and equipped with Velodyne’s proprietary micro-lidar array (MLA) architecture. The latest version of the sensor incorporates an ultra-wide field of view (FoV) and higher resolution, following feedback from customers.

The solid-state Velabit sensor now has a simultaneously achievable maximum horizontal FoV of 90° and maximum vertical FOV of 70°, approximately three times more points per second than the previous version. In addition to the configurable and dynamic field of view, the compact and lightweight sensor also features a high-resolution zoom capability.

The low SWaP (size, weight and power) footprint of the sensor maximises battery life and range for unmanned vehicles. It is ideal for multiple industries and for critical safety applications, including:

  • Autonomous mobile robots
  • Industrial and warehouse robotics
  • Infrastructure and smart city
  • Sidewalk and last-mile delivery
  • UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) mapping and navigation

Engineered to be an optimal automotive-grade lidar solution for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles, Velabit can fill sensing gaps, helping automakers achieve full coverage around a vehicle. The sensor enables robust perception coverage for ADAS features including blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic detection, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB). Additionally, the wide vertical field of view makes this an ideal technology for near-field sensing and robotics applications.

Velabit will be combined with Velodyne’s lidar-based perception software, Vella™, to streamline projects and provide a broad spectrum of vehicle safety functions. The software translates Velabit’s high-quality point cloud data into valuable perception outputs, including object classification and tracking, obstacle detection, scene segmentation, and object velocity, that can be readily utilized by vehicle systems. When combined with vehicle odometry data, Vella provides time and distance to collision measurements, enabling safer vehicle response.

The sensor can also be combined with other Velodyne lidar technologies, such as the Velarray H800, for high-speed operation or function as a standalone lidar solution in low-speed applications.

Anand Gopalan, CEO of Velodyne Lidar, commented: “With our next-generation Velabit, Velodyne continues to innovate with a sensor that has small size for sleek, stylish integration while delivering high-quality performance. Our dedicated engineering team worked to bring our customers’ needs to life in under a year, highlighting our commitment to meeting market demands. And our goal is to not only meet market demands but transform lives globally. We believe this sensor will democratize lidar-based safety and autonomy across many different industries.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact