Waymo has announced it will sell its lidar technology to companies that do not compete in the self-driving car market. First up, according to Simon Verghese, head of Waymo’s lidar team, will be robotics, security, and agricultural technology companies.
“Our custom lidars have been instrumental in making Waymo the first company in the world to put fully self-driving cars on public roads,” says Verghese in a blog post. “Now, we are making these sensors available to companies outside of self-driving—beginning with robotics, security, agricultural technology, and more—so they can achieve their own technological breakthroughs.”
The move not only pushes autonomous vehicle technology into other industries, but will also help Waymo financially.
“Offering this lidar to partners helps spur the growth of applications outside of self-driving cars and also propels our business forward. We can scale our autonomous technology faster, making each sensor more affordable through economies of scale,” Verghese explains.
Waymo’s Laser Beam Honecomb, which is one of its 3D lidar sensors, is currently available to certain partners. The sensor finds a home around of the bumper of Waymo’s self-driving car fleet, and offers a few distinct features: a wide field of view (95° vertical FOV, 360° horizontal FOV), multiple returns per pulse (sees up to four different objects in laser beam’s line of sight), and a minimum range of zero (can see objects immediately in front of the sensor).