“Under the global energy revolution, China, as the world’s largest carbon market, has already sounded the charge of “dual carbon”, and green demand is continuously injected into urban planning, which has an impact on travel, traffic and transportation. With the implementation of more smart cities and smart transportation projects, the demand for lidar will show a steady growth trend, and we have seen applications based on lidar technology in more and more industries.
By: Laura Wrisley, Vice President of Global Sales, Velodyne Lidar
Under the global energy revolution, China, as the world’s largest carbon market, has already sounded the charge of “dual carbon”, and green demand is continuously injected into urban planning, which has an impact on travel, traffic and transportation. With the implementation of more smart cities and smart transportation projects, the demand for lidar will show a steady growth trend, and we have seen applications based on lidar technology in more and more industries.
China has always been an important growth market for Velodyne Lidar, with its Asia Pacific headquarters in Beijing, China. We have been serving Chinese customers for more than 10 years and have established close cooperative relationships. We continue to invest a lot of product and technical resources in many first-tier cities to provide support for customers. Under the leadership of CEO Dr. Ted Tewksbury, we will continue to vigorously promote the supply of high-quality, high-performance lidar products to the Chinese market, hoping to further enhance Velodyne’s influence in the Chinese market. At the same time, in order to better serve local customers and partners, we established a Chinese customer service team in 2021, and the engineering team has also doubled this year. At the same time, we have established bonded warehouses and local warehouses in China to fully and quickly respond to customer needs in terms of services, technology and products, and help customers grow their business.
True to our brand vision of “Science for Safety”, we significantly improve safety, sustainability and efficiency by offering the industry’s broadest product portfolio for a variety of applications across multiple industries. With a rich portfolio of high-quality rotary lidar products Alpha Prime™, solid-state lidar products Velarray and Velabit, and market-leading Vella development kits, customers and partners are on the road to “automation” Provide reliable protection.
The Automated with Velodyne project aims to promote and develop Velodyne Lidar partners around the world to jointly promote industrial development. It is worth mentioning that at the beginning of this year, Velodyne’s global partners have exceeded 100, covering many business types of application fields. Among them, the Velodyne lidar sensor and software portfolio is making great strides in three key markets: industrial and robotics, smart infrastructure, and the automotive industry, which includes autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). As we look ahead to global market trends and technological developments in 2022 and beyond, we took some time to reflect on the following trends we see across four major market segments:
“Machine substitution” accelerates the construction of smart industry
The global supply chain tension caused by the new crown epidemic has brought a lot of uncertainty to the market economy. Driven by factors such as the epidemic and the supply chain crisis, the industrial and robotics field has become the field closest to large-scale commercial deployment. Driven by the proliferation of intelligent automation in warehouses, ports and other applications. As the world’s largest logistics market, China’s industrial economy is creating a new pattern, moving rapidly towards intelligence and greenness. By promoting the application of emerging technologies such as lidar and intelligent equipment, it is the general trend to improve the automation and intelligence of logistics links such as warehousing, transportation, distribution and distribution.
In factories or logistics centers, autonomous tractors with Velodyne lidar can automate material handling, improve efficiency and ensure safety. In warehouses, many industrial robots that already use lidar are moving goods with greater precision, efficiency and safety, helping to maintain operational continuity. In ports, ship cranes can guide and help ships navigate, dock and unload safely under the power of lidar. Currently, there are more than 5,000 lidar-enabled AGVs or autonomous navigation vehicles in ports, helping them stay open 24 hours a day. And looking at dangerous and remote mining areas, drones using lidar can fly freely and provide navigation in highly complex industrial environments without human manipulation.
In the era of epidemic, lidar provides more assistance for the “last mile” automated transportation. For example, automated and remote-controlled driverless buses powered by lidar could transport medical workers and first responders through outbreak-infected areas, as well as deliver medical supplies, equipment and food. Contactless delivery can ensure medical safety and protect those most vulnerable to infection.
Smart infrastructure and smart city construction continue to develop in depth
Smart infrastructure and smart cities have emerged as one of the most exciting emerging lidar markets. As China accelerates the construction of digital economy benchmark cities, the application and influence of lidar are gradually deepening. As a catalyst for the construction of smart city applications, lidar can improve and optimize public services, helping more people improve road safety and quality of life.
Velodyne Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions (IIS) can create real-time 3D maps of roads and intersections, providing precise traffic monitoring and analysis that is not possible with other types of sensors such as cameras or radar. It reliably collects data in any light or weather condition, enabling year-round operation. It can predict, diagnose and solve road safety challenges, improve road safety, reduce congestion and improve traffic efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving energy efficiency, and help urban planning to create smarter and safer transportation systems. In addition, lidar does not need to collect facial recognition data, which eliminates privacy concerns with camera-based systems and maintains public trust. Currently the solution has been deployed in Asia, North America and Europe on three continents.
The wave of automated driving is sweeping
Self-driving cars are no longer a vision of the future, and major automakers are already developing self-driving cars and committing to commercialization. In the field of autonomous vehicles, lidar is undoubtedly a key technology. Aided by lidar technology, vehicles contribute to climate sustainability while improving road safety by reducing fuel consumption.
Automated shuttles such as Navya Beep, May Mobility, and leading robo-taxi innovators such as Motional are integrating Velodyne’s lidar into their systems to provide the highest levels of performance and safety. Emerging electric vehicle companies such as Faraday Future are choosing Velodyne lidars to provide drivers with high levels of safety, convenience, and driving comfort. For electric vehicles, lidar can help enhance automation, improve safety and energy efficiency, and maximize the distance and time between charging of electric vehicles.
Speaking of efficiency, lidar self-driving trucks like the Ford Otosan can save fuel and operate 24/7, helping to ease supply chain bottlenecks. And in racing, we’re even seeing Velodyne lidar-based application solutions combined with the NVIDIA driving platform to power ROBORACE driverless racing cars.
Large-scale deployment of ADAS vehicles still ‘on the way’
The reliability and cost of lidar has always been a concern in the industry, and in the process of designing and manufacturing products, cost has always been our focus. Velodyne Lidar has been continuously promoting the cost reduction of lidar by combining patented technology, partners and strategic advantages of production, bringing cost-effective lidar to the domestic automated vehicle market and helping future mobility.
In the field of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), full deployment at the L2+/L3 level has been slower than expected, but we still believe that the high-level safety requirements required by automobiles can only be achieved with lidar. Velodyne’s Velarray H800 solid-state lidar is being evaluated by multiple automotive customers and, combined with our Vella software, can significantly improve safety.
ADAS vehicles are still a few years away from mass production, but Velodyne is actively participating in all major automotive segments, including new electric vehicle companies, automated trucking companies and robotaxi companies, and with our new solid-state lidar product line, we are already doing Well prepared to compete in this field.
In other segments, from wire monitoring solutions or vegetation management systems, to oil/gas, mining, chemical, energy and construction plants, we see interesting uses and limitless opportunities for lidar in many industry applications. In 2021, 15,000 Velodyne lidar sensors were ordered, manufactured, and delivered.
I firmly believe that the range of lidar applications will expand rapidly in the next few years, and with our strong mass production capabilities, we are confident that Velodyne Lidar will take the lead in the first wave of large-scale commercialization of lidar solutions around the world. At the same time, we remain true to our core mission and leverage our technological advantages to achieve a safer, sustainable and efficient world.
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