The developer of unmanned vehicles Waymo intends to start selling its own production of lidars to third-party companiesMarch 10, 2019
The developer of unmanned machines Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet holding, plans to enter the market with its own production lidars. This writes Bloomberg.
Note that Waymo was created as a car division of Google in 2009. Initially, the developer of roboMobiles used third-party sensors, but in 2017 the company decided to create equipment for UAVs on its own. And she did not lose: the cost of producing her own lidar was 10 times lower than the average cost of lidars available on the market ($ 75,000 versus $ 7,500).
It is important to emphasize that currently, three types of sensors are used in self-managed Waymo machines, but the company plans to sell only one of them – Honeycomb, which is mounted on the bumper of the car.
Waymo argues that Honeycomb has wide viewing angles – its vertical viewing angle is 95 ° (for comparison, the vertical view of most of the competitors’ lidars is only 30 °), the horizontal one is 360 °. Also, the device boasts no blind spots: the lidar is able to detect an object, even if it is located directly in front of the sensor. Because of this, where other developers have to install several sensors at once to cover the entire field of view, Waymo lacks one.
How much will cost Honeycomb, the company did not disclose (Bloomberg mentions a similar device from Velodyne – VelaDome lidar, which costs about $ 4000). At the same time, it is known that Waymo does not plan to sell the sensor to competitors in the robotaxi field. Buy the device will be able to those who are engaged in “robotics, security systems or agriculture.”
Finally, we note that in the long term, Alphabet plans to put the production of lidars on stream. According to the company, the distribution of lidars will make them cheaper, and will also have a positive impact on the development of a number of industries.
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