MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Event.

Velodyne LiDAR and MADD thank law enforcement officers and demonstrate how the future of driving can be safe for all.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) invited Velodyne LiDAR, Inc. to present the keynote at the Law Enforcement Recognition Event in Lafayette, California, on June 13 to honor the officers working on the front line to keep us safe in our communities.

The lunchtime event was filled with moving stories and lessons learned from officers while on duty. Velodyne and MADD’s presence set a hopeful tone for the future of roadway safety. Velodyne and MADD have joined forces to launch #VelodyneMADD, a national partnership designed to educate people about the safety benefits of self-driving, or autonomous, vehicle technology.

“While MADD educates the community on the dangers of impaired driving,” said MADD’s Executive Director Natasha Thomas, “we also want to be at the forefront in finding a solution. Velodyne is the leader in autonomous vehicles and we believe Velodyne’s technology will provide a solution to keep our roadways safe. We also want our law enforcement partners to know and understand Velodyne’s mission and how they will shape our future in traffic safety.

Jordan Brooker from Velodyne set up a VR demonstration that streamed a LiDAR view of the surrounding room via a VR headset, showing the officers what a VLP-32C Velodyne LiDAR sensor can see. He also showed how, out on the road, the sensor can measure speeds, distances and identify objects accurately out to 200 meters. In addition, he explained how the intensity or reflectivity values are also visible. This enabled police officers to truly understand how LiDAR technology works and how it will be applied for roadway safety.

Jordan Brooker demonstrating the VR Experience to Law Enforcement

So, what does the police department think about autonomous vehicles? Hundreds of law enforcement officers were invited to the MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Event. The Chief of Police for the City of Lafayette Ben Alldritt cited a stronger police presence, tighter legislation for ignition interlockers and a passive alcohol detection system (DADSS) as crucial first steps for monitoring driver behavior. After a presentation by Velodyne’s Director of Education and Business Development Sally Frykman, the crowd was clearly engaged in how Velodyne’s LiDAR technology as the foundational component of self-driving cars has the potential to save lives and prevent drunk and impaired driving.

Velodyne’s Communication and Education Manager Sally Frykman explaining how Velodyne’s LiDAR technology can potentially save lives and prevent drunk and impaired driving.

“It was an honor to recognize and appreciate the law enforcement officers who are out there every day, making our roadway safer,” said Frykman. “Velodyne LiDAR is committed to providing ongoing education regarding self-driving technology and the key role our LiDAR sensors play in making that technology a reality. Self-driving vehicles have the potential to prevent drunk and impaired driving. Partnering with MADD has enabled us to broaden our outreach and to work together on our shared goal of advancing roadway safety.”

In the coming years, autonomous technology will be a game changer in traffic safety, because 93 percent of all traffic fatalities are the result of human error. Almost all of these fatalities, especially those caused by impaired driving, are preventable. The MADD event presentation by Velodyne was an important step in showing how our LiDAR technology will actively aid law enforcement in the important work they do to keep our roadways safe.

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