A recent report from PwC predicts that fully autonomous vehicles could be on the roads within the next 10 years, enabling new levels of connectivity and services both inside and outside the car. The firm estimates that connected-car revenues will increase from approximately $50 billion today to $155.9 billion by 2022.
“Already we are beginning to see bits and pieces of what the so-called connected car will look like—a fully digitized vehicle with Wi-Fi; advanced infotainment systems and apps; vehicle-to-vehicle communications that let cars on the road “talk” to each other, exchanging basic safety data such as speed and position; real-time location services, and routing based on traffic conditions; and networked web links that facilitate vehicle diagnostics and repairs,” PwC reports in 2016 Auto Industry Trends.
As automobile manufacturers add more electronic components to their vehicles, and as they produce more connected cars, the trend is generating new opportunities for companies like Cemtrex Inc., an industrial and manufacturing solutions company.
According to Cemtrex, companies such as Hyundai and Volkswagen are working on connected-car technologies and related services. These include smartphone and smart-home connected services, intelligent remote support, fully autonomous driving, smart-traffic functionality, and mobility hubs as part of their efforts to establish a presence in the market.
Alphabet, Apple, Ford, Volvo, Tesla, and BMW, among others, are investing in autonomous driving technology, too, which requires the integration of many electronic components and assemblies.
Velodyne LiDAR Inc. is one of many manufacturers setting its sights on the autonomous car market. In December, the company unveiled the Puck Hi-Res sensor, a version of its LiDAR Puck. The new product provides higher resolution in captured 3D images, which allows objects to be identified at greater distances, according to Velodyne. Puck Hi-Res is the third new LiDAR sensor released by the company this year, joining the standard VLP-16 Puck and the Puck LITE.
Expanding on Velodyne LiDAR’s VLP-16 Puck—a 16-channel, real-time 3D LiDAR sensor that weighs 830 grams—Puck Hi-Res will find homes in applications that require greater resolution in the captured 3D image. Puck Hi-Res retains the VLP-16 Puck’s 360° horizontal field-of-view (FoV) and 100-meter range, but delivers a 20° vertical FoV for a tighter channel distribution—1.33° between channels instead of 2.00°—to deliver greater details in the 3D image at longer ranges. This will allow the host system to not only detect, but to better discern objects at greater distances.
“The Puck Hi-Res sensor will provide the most detailed 3D views possible from LiDAR,” says Mike Jellen, president of Velodyne LiDAR.