Velodyne Inc. announced the company has acquired Bluecity, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence (AI) software company whose next-generation, lidar-based solutions solve 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 addition of Bluecity is expected to be immaterial to operating expenses and cash usage. Bluecity’s executive, software development and sales teams will join Velodyne.
Velodyne and Bluecity have been partnering for many years to deliver lidar-based solutions for smart city applications. Velodyne’s Intelligent Infrastructure Solution (IIS) combines the company’s award-winning 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.
“We are excited to welcome Bluecity as full members of the Velodyne team. They are an exceptionally talented group of innovators with game-changing AI and analytics software that perfectly complements our lidar sensors and Vella software,” said Dr. Ted Tewksbury, CEO, Velodyne Lidar. “The customer response to Velodyne’s lidar-based system solutions has been incredibly positive.
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.”
“Bluecity is a big believer in Velodyne’s vision of being the leading provider of AI-powered autonomous vision systems,” said Dr. Asad Lesani, Co-Founder and CEO, Bluecity. “Our experience working with Velodyne’s world-class lidar sensors has shown the power their solutions can bring in making communities safer and more efficient. Our team is thrilled to now be part of Velodyne.”
Velodyne Expands Full-Stack Solutions Portfolio
Velodyne will 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.
1Source: LiDAR 2022 – Focus on Automotive and Industrial Report, Yole Intelligence, 2022