California-based sensor developer Velodyne Lidar has acquired mapping and localization specialist Mapper.ai, to help advance the development of its autonomous and assisted driving capabilities.
Mapper’s software and technology will enable Velodyne to accelerate the development of Vella, the company’s supporting software for its directional view Velarray lidar sensor. Velarray is an embeddable solid-state lidar sensor capable of fitting behind a windshield, which can then be used in conjunction with autonomous and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Current capabilities include pedestrian and bicycle avoidance, lane keep assist (LKA), automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control (ACC) and traffic jam assist (TJA).
Mapper’s entire leadership and engineering teams will join Velodyne, bolstering the company’s software development group. The new talent will augment the current software team of engineers working on the Vella software.
“Expanding our team to develop Vella is a giant step toward achieving our goal of mass producing an ADAS solution that dramatically improves roadway safety,” said Anand Gopalan, CTO at Velodyne. “Mapper technology gives us access to some key algorithmic elements and accelerates our development timeline. Together, our sensors and software will allow powerful lidar-based safety solutions to be available on every vehicle.”
Dr. Nikhil Naikal, founder and CEO of Mapper, who will also join Velodyne, said, “Velodyne has both created the market for high-fidelity automotive lidar and established itself as the leader. We have been Velodyne customers for years and have already integrated its lidar sensors into easily deployable solutions for scalable high-definition mapping. We are excited to use our technology to speed up Velodyne’s lidar-centric software approach to ADAS.”