Velodyne’s Godfather Of Laser Sensors Hits $500 Million Milestone, Sets His Sights On Safer Self-Driving Cars

Spinning laser lidar sensors, invented by Velodyne’s David Hall more than a decade ago, helped kick off a race to create self-driving cars. As his company marks a sales milestone for its vision technology, Hall is expanding into cheaper, modified sensors for use in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that are heading to market ahead of driverless vehicles.

The company, which has supplied lidars to almost every self-driving car program at some point since 2007, has shipped 30,000 of the laser sensors since it started making them, generating cumulative sales of $500 million, CEO and founder Hall told Forbes. Velodyne continues to expand sensor production for self-driving fleets, but there’s demand for shorter-range units for ADAS safety tech, monitoring road conditions, blind spots and objects in a driver’s path.