Autonomous Vehicles Open up Several Growth Opportunities for LiDAR Market

LiDAR systems refer to the technologically advanced, remote sensing devices, which make use of light in the form of laser to see if the light fired reflects anything. LiDAR systems are capable of generating precise and spatial information about objects around the system on the basis of principal of reflection of light from a variety of surfaces. With the help of the light reflected off an object, a LiDAR system develops a 3-dimensional model or map of the space where the object is located.

In many ways, LiDAR systems are comparable to the operations of RADAR systems, with a major difference being the use of laser pulses in the former and that of radio waves in the latter.

LiDAR systems find widespread applications across forestry, coastal, infrastructure, flood mapping, aerospace, mining, defense, and transportation. In the past few years, the entry of automobile and technology giants in the field of driverless cars has led to an increased demand for a variety of compact and high range LiDAR systems.

Market Marked by Excellent Future Growth Prospects

A recent report published by Transparency Market Research states that the global LiDAR market will expand at a 15.3% CAGR between 2014 and 2020, and reach US$605.5 mn by 2020.

The market for LiDAR systems at present is witnessing rapid pace of technological development and innovations. The demand for compact and high range devices at cheaper costs has led to massive competition among product manufacturers in the past years. Continuous product development and innovations have leveraged the sophistication of the market, presenting the end-user with many reliable options suiting to their needs.

Velodyne, Inc.’s Ultra Pack for Autonomous Vehicles

In the race for small-sized LiDAR systems, a new entrant is noteworthy – Ultra Pack by a Silicon Valley based company Velodyne, Inc. Ford has unveiled the new tool that will be used in its new fleet of autonomous vehicles. The LiDAR system is only as much as a coffee-can in size and can be mounted on the mirrors of a car. Even at size this small, the device has enough power to cover a range of nearly 200 meters. 

Other driverless vehicles, such as the Google car, have large LiDAR systems mounted on the car’s roof. Some camera phone models also incorporate LiDAR systems for capturing 3D images. But while most LiDAR systems are bulky, the latest model launched by Velodyne, Inc. distinguishes itself owing to its size and range.

A US$250 LiDAR System

Quanergy, an automotive startup company based in California, has recently launched a solid-state LiDAR system that is small, has no moving parts, and will cost anywhere around US$250. The company has mentioned that the product will make it easier and much cheaper for autonomous cars, robots, and more, in gaining features of comprehensive and versatile sensing mechanism with this system.

Some of the other major companies operating in the global LiDAR market are 3D Laser Mapping Ltd., Mosaic 3D, Avent Lidar Technology, Leica Geosystems AG, FARO Technology Inc., INtermap Technologies Corp., Optich Incorporated, Firmatek 3D Mapping Solutions LLC, Aerometric Inc., and DigitalWorld Mapping Inc.


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