Velodyne Lidar, Inc. has acquired Bluecity, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence (AI) software company whose next-generation, lidar-based solutions target safety, traffic and infrastructure issues. The all-stock acquisition reinforces Velodyne’s commitment to enabling customer success by delivering industry-leading, AI-powered autonomous vision solutions, the San Jose, Calif based lidar expert said in a press release.
Velodyne and Bluecity have been partnering for years to deliver lidar-based solutions for smart city applications. Velodyne’s Intelligent Infrastructure Solution (IIS) combines the company’s lidar sensors and Bluecity’s AI software. IIS delivers traffic monitoring and analytics to improve road safety and efficiency, and helps cities plan for smarter, greener transportation systems. The solution is deployed across four continents with 74 installations, including systems rolled out domestically in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Nevada and Michigan and internationally in Canada, China, UAE, India, Finland, Germany and Australia.
In a statement, Velodyne Lidar CEO Ted Tewksbury described Bluecity as an “exceptionally talented group of innovators with game-changing AI and analytics software that perfectly complements our lidar sensors and Vella software.
“Customers are using our lidar and AI-powered analytics to obtain business insights and improve safety, sustainability, efficiency and transportation equity in ways that were never possible with traditional cameras or radar alone. Our acquisition of Bluecity further affirms that a system solutions approach integrating software and hardware is a major competitive advantage for Velodyne across all our end markets,” Tewksbury said.
At the same opportunity, Velodyne provided an insight to its future plans. According to the release, the company intends to continue to expand its Intelligent Infrastructure Solution’s capabilities, including monitoring flows of people and vehicles to create a range of new full-stack infrastructure solutions for applications such as parking, retail, casinos and stadiums. According to Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, the smart infrastructure market for lidar will grow from $108M in 2021 to $1.1B in 20271. To serve these growing markets, Velodyne will integrate Bluecity’s robust AI and analytics software, delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, with Velodyne’s Vella lidar perception software. This integration will facilitate the creation of new Velodyne lidar-based software solutions for industrial, robotics and intelligent infrastructure, enabling the acceleration of customers’ time to market with autonomous vision systems for these markets.
Vella software translates lidar data into actionable information so that autonomous systems can observe and understand the environments they are operating in. Vella’s real-time data enables autonomous systems to make decisions and take action, such as a robot or vehicle moving safely, and provide analytics, for example a traffic solution helping communities understand root causes of near-miss collisions, red light running and other road user behavior.