Why spinning lidar sensors might be around for another decade
Monday May 7, 2018. 04:50 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge / Ousters's OS-1 (left) and OS-2 lidar sensors. (credit: Ouster)
Velodyne invented modern three-dimensional lidar scanners in the mid-2000s. But in recent years, the conventional wisdom has held that Velodyne's design—which involves mounting 64 lasers onto a rotating gimbal—would soon be rendered obsolete by a new generation of solid-state lidar sensors that use a single stationary laser to scan a scene.
But a startup called Ouster is seeking to challenge that view, selling Velodyne-like spinning lidar sensors at competitive prices. In late April, we talked to Ouster CEO Angus Pacala, who has special expertise on the tradeoffs between spinning and solid-state lidars. The reason: Pacala was previously a co-founder at Quanergy, one of the best-known startups working on solid-state lidar.
In our conversation, Pacala declined to badmouth his former company. But actions speak louder than words. We can assume that as a Quanergy cofounder, Pacala became intimately familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of solid-state lidar technologies. So it's telling that when he decided to create another lidar company, he decided not to do another solid-state one.
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