ThorDrive Launches Autonomous Driving Commercial Vehicle Services with LiDAR Sensors from Velodyne

ThorDrive, an autonomous vehicle (AV) startup, has utilized LiDAR sensors of Velodyne to realize its commercial vehicle services.

On November 29th, ThorDrive is introducing the service with a kick-off event in Palo Alto City, California, with attendants including local government and business leaders. The initial service, in partnership with Hassett ACE Hardware, will support select residents of Channing House (senior housing) and fire departments in Palo Alto with plans to expand to additional pilots soon. The ThorDrive platform is using Velodyne’s lidar sensors to provide rich data content for its AV software.

“We are excited to provide groundbreaking autonomous driving technology that is pioneering a new way to provide value-added services in logistics processes,” said Seung-Woo Seo, founder of ThorDrive. “Velodyne’s lidar technology provides a crucial data set for sensor fusion in ThorDrive software and will continue to be a core component in the ThorDrive sensor suite.”


(Image: Velodyne)

The ThorDrive platform has been designed to provide the highly accurate sensor fusion, high-precision localization, and detailed path planning needed to operate in dense urban environments. It can build maps for hyperlocal areas, such as private parking lots. The platform has been demonstrated to support proof-of-concept tests quickly and cost effectively.

ThorDrive has been using Velodyne lidar sensors in developing its autonomous driving technology since 2010. The company retrofits Ford vans with its AV technology and they will be deployed as a fleet of autonomous vehicles across the United States, addressing commercial and logistics markets.


Mike Jellen, President and CCO of Velodyne Lidar, commented, “ThorDrive-powered commercial vehicle services demonstrate how Velodyne intelligent lidar sensors are helping companies place autonomous vehicles on the road today. ThorDrive’s technology taps the full potential of Velodyne’s rich computer perception data to help determine the safest way to navigate and direct a self-driving vehicle. They are transforming logistics by developing dedicated autonomous vans to help companies create faster, more efficient commercial services.”

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