SAN JOSE, Calif. — Velodyne Lidar Inc. today announced that it has acquired Mapper.ai’s mapping and localization software, as well as its intellectual property assets. Velodyne said that Mapper’s technology will enable it to accelerate development of the Vella software that establishes its directional view Velarray lidar sensor.
The Velarray is the first solid-state Velodyne lidar sensor that is embeddable and fits behind a windshield, said Velodyne, which described it as “an integral component for superior, more effective advanced driver assistance systems” (ADAS).
The company provides lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles and driver assistance. David Hall, Velodyne’s founder and CEO invented real-time surround-view lidar systems in 2005 as part of Velodyne Acoustics. His invention revolutionized perception and autonomy for automotive, new mobility, mapping, robotics, and security.
Velodyne said its high-performance product line includes a broad range of sensors, including the cost-effective Puck, the versatile Ultra Puck, and the autonomy-advancing Alpha Puck.
Mapper.ai staffers to join Velodyne
Mapper’s entire leadership and engineering teams will join Velodyne, bolstering the company’s large and growing software-development group. The talent from Mapper.ai will augment the current team of engineers working on Vella software, which will accelerate Velodyne’s production of ADAS systems.
Velodyne claimed its technology will allow customers to unlock advanced capabilities for ADAS features, including pedestrian and bicycle avoidance, Lane Keep Assistance (LKA), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and Traffic Jam Assist (TJA).
“By adding Vella software to our broad portfolio of lidar technology, Velodyne is poised to revolutionize ADAS performance and safety,” stated Anand Gopalan, chief technology officer at Velodyne. “Expanding our team to develop Vella is a giant step towards achieving our goal of mass-producing an ADAS solution that dramatically improves roadway safety.”
“Mapper technology gives us access to some key algorithmic elements and accelerates our development timeline,” Gopalan added. “Together, our sensors and software will allow powerful lidar-based safety solutions to be available on every vehicle.”
“Velodyne has both created the market for high-fidelity automotive lidar and established itself as the leader. We have been Velodyne customers for years and have already integrated their lidar sensors into easily deployable solutions for scalable high-definition mapping,” said Dr. Nikhil Naikal, founder and CEO of Mapper, who is joining Velodyne. “We are excited to use our technology to speed up Velodyne’s lidar-centric software approach to ADAS.”
In addition to ADAS, Velodyne said it will incorporate Mapper technology into lidar-centric solutions for other emerging applications, including autonomous vehicles, last-mile delivery services, security, smart cities, smart agriculture, robotics, and unmanned aerial vehicles.