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Velodyne Lidar sensors power ThorDrive’s autonomous driving pilot

ThorDrive, an autonomous vehicle (AV) startup, is introducing commercial vehicle services in the first of many pilots in the USA.

The initial service, in partnership with Hassett ACE Hardware, will support selected residents and fire departments in Palo Alto, California, 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.”

“ThorDrive-powered commercial vehicle services demonstrate how Velodyne intelligent lidar sensors are helping companies place autonomous vehicles on the road today,” said Mike Jellen, President and CCO of Velodyne Lidar.

The ThorDrive platform has been designed to provide the highly accurate sensor fusion, high-precision localisation, 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.