Velodyne providing ThorDrive’s autonomous vehicle service with intelligent lidar sensors

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ThorDrive, a US-based AV startup that is introducing self-driving commercial vehicle services, has announced the beginning of a new trial and that it is using Velodyne lidar sensors to provide its vans with the highly accurate data required to support the pioneering pilot.

Retrofitted to its fleet of Ford vans, Velodyne lidars sensors will enable ThorDrive to provide a logistics service for a number of businesses across the United States, starting off in Palo Alto, California, where it will partner with Hassett ACE Hardware to support select residents of Channing House (senior housing) and fire departments.

“ThorDrive-powered commercial vehicle services demonstrate how Velodyne intelligent lidar sensors are helping companies place autonomous vehicles on the road today,” said Mike Jellen, president and CCO of Velodyne Lidar.

“ThorDrive’s technology taps the full potential of Velodyne’s rich computer perception data to help determine the safest way to navigate and direct a self-driving vehicle. They are transforming logistics by developing dedicated autonomous vans to help companies create faster, more efficient commercial services.”

Plans to expand the trial were revealed by ThorDrive founder Seung-Woo Seo as the company targets addressing commercial and logistics markets in the US; however, locations and dates were not disclosed.

“We are excited to provide groundbreaking autonomous driving technology that is pioneering a new way to provide value-added services in logistics processes,” said Seung-Woo Seo. “Velodyne’s lidar technology provides a crucial data set for sensor fusion in ThorDrive software and will continue to be a core component in the ThorDrive sensor suite.”

The ThorDrive platform has been designed to provide the highly accurate sensor fusion, high-precision localization, and detailed path planning needed to operate in dense urban environments. It can build maps for hyperlocal areas, such as private parking lots.

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