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Top 3 Takeaways from the Velodyne – Optimus Ride Webinar
Jun 24, 2020 | By Velodyne Lidar

Webinar Summary Looking at How Autonomous Vehicles Are Stepping Up to Address Mobility and Logistics Challenges to Keep Us Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Automation and Safety During COVID-19: Autonomous Vehicles Keeping Us Safe During the Pandemic, a Velodyne – Optimus Ride Webinar
Automation and Safety During COVID-19: Autonomous Vehicles Keeping Us Safe During the Pandemic, a Velodyne – Optimus Ride Webinar

A webinar conducted by Pamela Gauci, Senior Marketing Manager at Velodyne Lidar, and Dr. Ryan C.C. Chin, Co-Founder & CEO of Optimus Ride, discussed how autonomous vehicles are providing vital services while keeping workers and the public safe during the pandemic.

The episode was part of the digital learning series on “Automation and Safety During COVID-19,” organized by Velodyne.

Optimus Ride develops self-driving vehicle technology and systems to provide passenger mobility and goods delivery within geofenced areas such as master planned communities, corporate and university campuses and self-driving zones in cities. Using three Velodyne sensors, each Optimus Ride all-electric vehicle can locate the position of people and objects in its surrounding environment, as well as calculate their speed and trajectory. With that information, the vehicle’s on-board computer system determines how to drive to its destination.

Optimus Ride shuttle equipped with Velodyne Lidar sensors
Optimus Ride shuttle equipped with Velodyne Lidar sensors

Here are three takeaways from the webinar:

1. Optimus Ride is addressing today’s challenges by pivoting to handling logistics services.

Self-driving vehicles from Optimus Ride are helping residents of Paradise Valley Estates, a retirement community for people ages 60-plus in Fairfield, Calif. Residents are no longer permitted to congregate in the dining hall so Optimus Ride modified their vehicles and are bringing meals directly to them. The vehicles are also being used for package delivery.

“We have delivered almost 4,000 meals since the outbreak, providing an essential service to seniors, who are especially vulnerable during this public health crisis,” said Ryan.

2. New intuitive way that riders can interact with autonomous vehicles.

Ryan discussed the newly introduced Optimus “Virtual Ride Assistant” (VRA), which improves the self-driving ride experience by providing dynamic interactions between riders, the vehicle and the remote assistance team. The VRA offers audio-visual tools for riders to be informed of the system, request changes in destination or routing, and to contact Optimus Ride’s remote assistance system.

3. The pandemic demonstrates the imperative to get to fully driverless as soon as possible.

Ryan reviewed the need for Optimus Ride – and the industry overall – to get to fully driverless is underscored by the pandemic. The current environment has shown the need by essential personnel and logistics services to have reliable transport capabilities. Ryan believes by taking the approach of starting with services that travel at lower speeds in geofenced areas, companies will achieve full autonomy faster. 

Watch the full webinar below!

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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