16 August 2016, USA :
Velodyne LiDAR, Inc. today announced the completion of a combined $150 million investment from co-investors Ford Motor Company and China’s leading search engine company Baidu.
“LiDAR continues to prove itself as the critical sensor for safe autonomous vehicle operation,” said David Hall, founder and CEO, Velodyne LiDAR. “This investment will accelerate the cost reduction and scaling of Velodyne’s industry-leading LiDAR sensors, making them widely accessible and enabling mass deployment of fully autonomous vehicles. We are determined to help improve the goal of safety for automotive vehicles as soon as possible, as well as empower the efficiency autonomous systems offer.”
Founded in 1983 by David S. Hall, Velodyne Acoustics first disrupted the premium audio market through Hall’s patented invention of virtually distortion-less, servo-driven subwoofers. Velodyne set the audio industry benchmark for premium bass sound. Hall subsequently leveraged his knowledge of robotics and 3D visualization systems to invent ground breaking sensor technology for self-driving cars and 3D mapping, introducing the HDL-64 Solid-State Hybrid LiDAR sensor in 2005.
Jing Wang, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Autonomous Driving Unit of Baidu. “Our investment will accelerate our efforts in autonomous driving with what, in our view, are the best LiDAR sensors available today and advance Velodyne’s development of increasingly sophisticated LiDAR sensors.”
Baidu is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. As a technology-based media company, Baidu aims to provide the best and most equitable way for people to find they’re looking for. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, Baidu provides an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers.
“From the very beginning of our autonomous vehicle program, we saw LiDAR as key enabler due to its sensing capabilities and how it complements radar and cameras,” said Raj Nair, Ford Executive Vice President, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer.
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles.