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Unmanned Solution’s Autonomous Technology Development with Velodyne Lidar
Jun 13, 2020 | By Jane Maynard, Digital Marketing Manager, Velodyne

Interview with Moon Heechang, Ph.D., CEO of Unmanned Solution

Unmanned Solution's Autonomous Shuttle WITH:US, equipped with Velodyne lidar sensors
Unmanned Solution’s Autonomous Shuttle WITH:US

The primary focus areas of Unmanned Solution, based in Seoul, Republic of Korea, are autonomous vehicle development, sensor fusion technology and ADAS technology. Unmanned Solution’s autonomous technology program encompasses a broad spectrum of activities, such as on-road vehicles, agricultural equipment, robots and autonomous systems integration. It also includes the development of an instructional platform for educational programs serving students studying autonomous and robotics technology.

To dig deeper into how Unmanned Solution is advancing autonomous technology, we sat down with Dr. Moon.

Q: The value proposition of Unmanned Solution is “safe, intelligent and flexible.” How does Unmanned Solution deliver on that value promise?

Moon: Unmanned Solution has designed a redundant, triple system for safety in our modular vehicle platforms. The vehicles can drive autonomously on a designated path, making navigation judgments along the way, delivering SAE Level 5 software and hardware capabilities. The vehicle platforms have been developed to accommodate a variety of service software and have the flexibility to be used by other manufacturers to deliver new forms of mobility.

Unmanned Solution's Autonomous Technology Used for a Security Robot With Velodyne Lidar Sensor
Unmanned Solution’s autonomous technology used for a security robot, utilizing Velodyne’s lidar sensor

Q: Please tell us about your autonomous mobility platform that spans across shuttles, delivery robots and security robots?

Moon: Our mobility platform is designed as an electrical-based module chassis using Unmanned Solution’s proprietary technology. The chassis was developed in the form of three modular platforms – A, B and C – that support various autonomous mobility services. Platform A is designed to support delivery robots and security robots. Platform B supports shuttles and taxis. Platform C is for self-driving buses and trucks, enabling autonomous transportation of passengers and cargo.

Q: Autonomous delivery robots are getting a lot of attention lately. How can your unmanned delivery robots improve logistics processes?

Moon: Our delivery robots address parcel delivery service. They are not made for food delivery. The concept behind the robot is to assist the delivery worker by transporting goods for home delivery in areas not accessible by automobile.

How the delivery robot works is it waits in a designated station. When the delivery truck arrives, a worker loads the cargo onto the robot and then the robot delivers the packages. We envision the robot’s service area can be gradually expanded to include housing and apartment complexes.

Unmanned Solution's Autonomous Cargo Vehicle
Unmanned Solution’s Autonomous Cargo Vehicle

Q: Last year, you successfully developed an autonomous driving shuttle called WITH:US. How can the vehicle advance public transportation of smart cities?

Moon: The WITH:US shuttle is designed to replace the town shuttle bus. It can serve as a public transportation service for short-distance travel within a Smart City, operating as an on-demand service. The shuttle can deliver a ride sharing service for people moving to the same destination on a set path. It can also be used in connection with existing public transportation, providing first mile and last mile service.

Q: Why did Unmanned Solution select Velodyne Lidar and what benefits do Velodyne sensors add to your autonomous solutions?

Moon: Sensor reliability is very important for autonomous mobility and autonomous shuttles. For the past ten years, Unmanned Solution has tried many sensors. Velodyne Lidar provides the most reliable and most accurate lidar sensors we have used. We use Velodyne Lidar sensors for obstacle judgment and localization, and we have achieved good results.

Q: Your company says that agriculture is an emerging market. What are your plans for the agricultural sector?

Moon: We see agriculture, along with public transportation and logistics, as the most attractive markets for autonomous driving vehicles. The farmer population is decreasing; robots can help address this manpower problem.

Unmanned Solution has developed an autonomous solution from a highly-utilized tractor among agricultural machinery. We are in the process of commercializing an autonomous tractor kit in cooperation with a Korean agricultural machinery company.

We also have an autonomous driving spray robot under development to replace highly dangerous work, such as spraying pesticides. We are planning to announce a new model in 2021.

Q: What’s next for Unmanned Solution in how you deploy Velodyne technology?

Moon: Unmanned Solution is planning mass production of our autonomous shuttles, delivery robots and security robots. We are also planning to build a new platform design that can support a wider variety of customer needs and rollout it out next year. We are looking to start using Velodyne’s Velarray™ and Velabit™ sensors. I want to use Velabit to secure data on the side of the new platform design. We will continue to focus on the Korean market in 2020 and gradually develop overseas markets.

About Velodyne Lidar

Velodyne provides smart, powerful lidar solutions for autonomy and driver assistance. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Velodyne is known worldwide for its portfolio of breakthrough lidar sensor technologies. Velodyne’s Founder, David Hall, invented real-time surround view lidar systems in 2005 as part of Velodyne Acoustics. Mr. Hall’s invention revolutionized perception and autonomy for automotive, new mobility, mapping, robotics, and security. Velodyne’s high-performance product line includes a broad range of sensing solutions, including the cost-effective Puck™, the versatile Ultra Puck™, the autonomy-advancing Alpha Prime™, the ADAS-optimized Velarray™ and the groundbreaking software for driver assistance, Vella™.

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