Why millions of lasers on a chip could be the future of lidar

Enlarge (credit: Ouster) Dozens of startups are working on lidar, a type of laser sensor that many experts see as essential for fully self-driving cars. In my view, one of the most interesting companies is called Ouster. I first wrote about Ouster back in May, when I explained how it was bucking an industry trend […]

Luminar’s lidar gives self-driving cars laser vision

Austin Russell, founder and CEO of lidar startup Luminar Technologies, is much taller in person than in pictures. We met at a hotel lobby in Midtown Manhattan, where he and co-founder Jason Eichenholz were recuperating after a whirlwind New York City press tour last week. Luminar was named one of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 companies, and […]

Ancient city’s LiDAR scans reveal as many buildings as Manhattan

When researchers surveyed the ruins of a Purépecha Empire city in Mexico the old-fashioned way a decade ago, it took them two seasons to explore two square kilometres. Good thing they decided to use LiDAR, because the city called Angamuco turned out bigger than they previously thought. LiDAR gave the researchers the power to see […]

LiDAR reveals Mayan mega city hidden in Guatemalan jungle

A vast Mayan megalopolis apparently lies hidden underneath all the trees, creepers and centuries of growth and soil in the Guatemalan forest — and we might never have found it if not for the wonders of laser technology. The PACUNAM Foundation, which champions the use of scientific research to preserve cultural heritage, has scanned the […]

Fortresses, farmlands of the Maya emerge from massive LiDAR survey

Enlarge (credit: 21st Century Fox) A recent aerial survey revealed thousands of ancient Maya structures previously hidden beneath the dense Guatemalan jungle, including houses, irrigation canals, fortifications, and even a pyramid. More importantly, though, the survey of 2000 square kilometers of northeastern Guatemala provides a bird’s-eye view of the landscape of ancient Maya cities, farms, […]

Why experts believe cheaper, better lidar is right around the corner

Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Getty) On November 3, 2007, six vehicles made history by successfully navigating a simulated urban environment—and complying with California traffic laws—without a driver behind the wheel. Five of the six were sporting a revolutionary new type of lidar sensor that had recently been introduced by an audio equipment maker called Velodyne. […]

Velodyne's new lidar has 128 lasers, makes future look like Neuromancer

Velodyne just announced its VLS-128, a lidar system with 128 laser channels designed to enable Level 5 autonomy. The VLS-128 scans out to 984 feet, twice the range of Velodyne’s previous top-of-the-line unit, the HDL-64, and resolves three times better than its predecessor. Velodyne says the extended range, along with upgraded object identification software, means […]

Velodyne LiDAR helps self-driving cars operate at highway speeds

Have you noticed that many self-driving car tests avoid the highway? There’s a good reason for it: the LiDAR (laser pulse-based radar) cars use to navigate frequently can’t handle high-detail images at the speeds and distances needed for timely reactions. Velodyne might fix that with its newly unveiled VLS-128 LiDAR system. It has 10 times […]