With construction costs that could reach $21 billion, President Donald Trump's "big beautiful wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border has enticed scores of construction firms and contractors to file proposals to get a piece of that business. Quanergy, a Silicon Valley startup that makes laser LiDAR sensors and a rising star in the world of automated car technology is one of the more curious applicants. Its interest in the Customs and Border Protection project was reported first by Axios. The Sunnyvale, California-based company registered an "other border wall" proposal, but the long vendors list doesn't detail Quanergy's idea. That "other" category is for any wall proposal that doesn't use concrete and that can be shown to be an effective option, a CPB spokesman explained to Forbes.
Yesterday at CES, Quanergy, an automotive startup based in Sunnyvale, Calif., held a press conference to announce the S3, a solid-state LIDAR system designed primarily to bring versatile, comprehensive, and affordable sensing to autonomous cars. The S3 is small, has no moving parts, and in production volume will be US 250 or less. According to Quanergy, the S3 is better than traditional LIDAR systems in every single way, and will make it easier and cheaper for robots of all kinds to sense what's going on in the world around them. LIDAR systems work by firing laser pulses out into the world and then watching to see if the light reflects off of something. By starting a timer when the pulse goes out and then stopping the timer when the sensor sees a reflection, the LIDAR can do some math to figure out how far away the source of the reflection is.
In 2015 Quanergy wowed crowds at CES with claims that it had a lidar that steered its laser beam without moving parts. Such a solid-state lidar would be smaller, tougher, and cheaper than the handmade rotating roof towers of Velodyne, then as now the leading lidar company. A year later, when Quanergy cited a price of US $250, the top-of-the-line Velodyne lidar was selling for around $75,000. Investors valued Quanergy at $1 billion, and Mercedes announced a partnership. But manufacturing problems set in.
"You will need all of them", says Dr. Louay Eldada. Eldada, CEO of Quanergy was referring to the idea of fusing multiple types of sensors together to paint a complete picture of a vehicle's environment. This picture Eldada describes is one that is more crisp and extensive (360 degree view) than what a human could see. Quanergy's focus in the autonomous vehicle world is creating solid-state LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) modules that, as Eldada points out, provides a resolution of 3.5 centimeters at 100 meters. This sort of resolution allows for the recognition of cars and even shapes as small as hands.
DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Concerns raised by the first reported fatality in a semi-automated car were expected to speed adoption of more sensitive technology to help vehicles see and drive themselves safely, increasing demand on the emerging autonomous vehicle technology industry, investors and analysts said. Goldman Sachs forecasts the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles will grow from about 3 billion last year to 96 billion in 2025 and 290 billion in 2035. More than half of that revenue in 20 years, Goldman estimates, will come from radar, cameras and lidar, a sensor that uses laser – all tools considered essential to building vehicles that can pilot themselves. The May 7 death of Ohio technology company owner Joshua Brown in a Tesla Motors Inc Model S while the car's semi-automated Autopilot system was engaged highlighted the limitations of current automated driving systems. Tesla's Autopilot system uses cameras and radar, but not lidar.