Velodyne IPO and the potential effect on the LiDAR industry
Author： Neuvition, IncRelease time：2020-10-10 19:43:31
Velodyne is a US-based company and is one of the pioneers in the R&D and production of LiDAR sensors for autonomous driving. The company designs and manufactures 16, 32, 64, and 128 lines of mechanical LiDAR and solid-state LiDAR as well. Currently, a significant portion of autonomous vehicles uses Velodyne’s mechanical LiDAR or similar products from competitors. For example, the first generation Google autonomous driving car used Velodyne’s mechanical LiDAR.
The Velodyne IPO
Velodyne Lidar Inc. went public and started trading under the symbol VLDR on the NYSE. The company is the first LiDAR manufacturer to go public. Using a reverse merger with a special-purpose acquisition company Graf Industrial Corp., Velodyne completed the IPO and raise $150 million US from private investment in public equity or PIPE.
Velodyne IPO is backed by shareholders such as Ford, Chinese search engine Baidu (also an autonomous driving technology company), Hyundai Mobis, and Nikon Corp. With the successful IPO, Velodyne should have about $190 million in cash for its future development. Congratulation to Velodyne’s team for the IPO.
With the rapid development in autonomous driving vehicles and AI technology, the application of a 3D sensor such as LiDAR is playing a very important role in machine vision. Compared with cameras, 3D LiDAR allows machines to see the world in 3D instead of 2D flat pixels.
There are many different 3D sensors available these days such as we wrote in another blog (Comparison of Different 3D Scanning Sensors). LiDAR uses a laser to detect the distance of a point to the precision of 2-3 cm or better. It can map the surrounding in 3D with great precision and with the distance which can go as far as 1 mile. For the autonomous driving vehicles, LiDAR’s measuring distance of 200-300 meters is desired.
The Velodyne IPO is very important for the whole LiDAR industry since it is the first IPO of its kind. It will give some indication of the health of the industry. This indicates the industry is in constant and healthy growth. Although Velodyne is the pioneer in the mechanical LiDAR for commercial applications, a lot of new technologies appear in recent years. Such as the solid-state LiDAR, including MEMS LiDAR, flash LiDAR and OPA (Optical Phase Array) LiDAR, and FMCW based 4D LiDAR. Many good LiDAR manufacturers appear, such as Luminar, Ouster, Aye, Heshai, Robosense, Leishman, and Neuvition. Each manufacturer has its strength in technology and application areas.
Neuvition solid-state LiDAR
Neuvition is a LiDAR manufacturer focusing on high-resolution MEMS LiDAR with color fusion from the camera. Neuvition’s LiDAR Titan M1 family uses 1550nm eye-safe laser for longer range and longer service life. The Titan family LiDAR is been used in autonomous vehicles, smart cities, industrial machine vision, 3D mapping, drone applications, etc. The solid-state LiDAR is the future of the technology and that is why Velodyne and most of the other manufacturers also start working on solid-state LiDAR.
Neuvition is also focusing on developing many software applications and solutions for LiDAR sensors in addition to the hardware sensor itself. With better software, the application of LiDAR sensors should take off faster. With the development of AI, smart city, and autonomous vehicle technology, we believe that LiDAR sensor applications and related software solutions will undoubtedly get off the ground soon. It is only a matter of time that LiDAR technologies and companies of this industry need a certain time to explore and develop.
We would like to say congratulations to Velodyne’s team for the IPO and we will work hard to make the industry healthy and full of hopes.