Velodyne, Can the Lidar in Autonomous Vehicles Capture Survey Data?

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Autonomous vehicles are changing the lidar landscape, and Velodyne is right out in front of that trend.

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The company recently announced a megafactory that will produce millions of solid-state lidar units every year, mostly to meet the demand from car companies that want sensors for their autonomous vehicles. This means automotive lidar is going to have one very positive effect for surveyors: The economies of scale it creates will  bring down the price of laser scanners across the spectrum. That means less expensive surveying tools.

But it also means that the world is going to be full of autonomous vehicles that are packing lidar sensors. Does that mean that, one day, we’ll be using these sensors to gather maps? Is that even possible?

I caught up with Jeff Wuendry, marketing manager at Velodyne lidar, to find out the answer to this question–and others–about the future of lidar.

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