Velodyne Signs 3-Year Deal to Supply Lidar to Baidu
Velodyne has signed a three-year sales agreement to supply its latest lidar sensors to Chinese internet giant Baidu.
The California-based company’s next-generation Alpha Prime sensors will be used by Baidu’s 3-year-old Apollo autonomous-car development alliance. Velodyne touts the new sensor’s 360°-degree surround view perception capabilities.
Baidu’s Apollo Go autonomous taxi (Image: Baidu)
The size of the order was not disclosed. But Baidu announced last month that the Apollo Go robo-taxi service developed by the partnership has gone live with several dozen vehicles (including human backup drivers) deployed across Beijing, Cangzhou and Changsha.
Velodyne says its new lidar produces millions of data points per second and delivers better resolution, range, object perception and power efficiency than its previous devices.
The two companies aren’t strangers. Baidu has been an investor in Velodyne since 2016. And Velodyne has supplied its products to many of the carmakers who have joined the Apollo robotic-car partnership.
Apollo aims to develop an open-source software platform for self-driving-vehicle systems that can compete with the one being developed by Alphabet’s Waymo unit. Among the alliance’s coalition’s partners are BAIC, Chery, Chongqing Changan, Daimler, FAW, Ford, Great Wall and Volvo.
The alliance also boasts such suppliers as Bosch, Continental Delphi, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, Valeo and ZF.
Visteon Corp. is developing DriveCore, an open platform to control and operate autonomous vehicles.
People have been dreaming about flying cars since the early days of the auto and aircraft industries.
While at the Tokyo Motor Show this week various vehicle manufacturers were showing off all manner of cars and crossovers and transportation devices that typically had to do with something autonomous, connected and/or electrified (ACE, as CAR’s Brett Smith categorizes this burgeoning field), the guys from Chevy were in El Segundo, California, showing off a different take on what can best be described as “toys for boys”—boys who do or don’t have driver’s licenses.