Ouster Inc. last week said it has signed a strategic customer agreement with Perrone Robotics Inc. to provide hundreds of lidar sensors for fully autonomous vehicles through 2023. San Francisco-based Ouster also introduced the L2X, which it described as the “most powerful lidar system on a chip” it has created.
“Ouster’s sensors have been designed to meet a range of performance requirements, making them adaptable to a variety of AV [autonomous vehicle] platforms,” said Angus Pacala, CEO of Ouster. “We expect our digital lidar to power hundreds of autonomous vehicles operating in commercial and municipal zones across the U.S. and internationally through our agreement with Perrone.”
“Ouster is a leading lidar supplier to the automotive industry today, and we are thrilled to partner with Perrone to meet customer demand for its AV platform over the coming years,” he said.
The company said it provides high-resolution digital lidar sensors for the industrial, automotive, smart infrastructure, and robotics industries. Ouster has approximately 600 customers in over 50 countries, with offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. It recently agreed to acquire solid-state lidar maker Sense Photonics.
Perrone to use Ouster with TONY retrofit kit
Perrone Robotics' TONY is a vehicle-independent retrofit kit for use in the autonomous transit of people and goods in geo-fenced and localized operations. The Crozet, Va.-based company said its autonomy systems are in commercial production and are designed to help commercial, municipal, and governmental customers increase efficiency, enhance safety, and accelerate zero-emission electric vehicle deployment. Perrone also offers autonomous shuttles and vehicles pre-integrated with the retrofit kit.
The company chose Ouster as a preferred lidar supplier as it scales delivery of its autonomy kits to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end customers. Ouster’s OS sensors will be integrated into a configuration of TONY.
They will be used in vehicles including the Local Motors Olli shuttle, GreenPower Motor Company AV Star, low-speed electric passenger and utility vehicles, and a line of yard trucks for logistics, said the companies.
“Perrone aims to deploy its kit at fleet-scale for shuttles, low-speed electric vehicles, cargo vans, and large logistics trucks for municipal, governmental, and commercial customers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia,” said Paul Perrone, CEO of Perrone Robotics. “We needed a lidar partner that could meet demand as we scale production models with our TONY AV retrofit kit. Ouster stood out for its performance characteristics, top-notch support team, and the ability to scale for fleet-level AV deployments.”
“We’re excited to partner with Ouster to deploy autonomous vehicle technology that we expect will increase operational efficiency, enhance safety, and improve accessibility for end users,” he added.
Ouster doubles processing power with L2X chip
Last week, Ouster also introduced the L2X lidar system on a chip (SoC). The L2X features a sensitive single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) photodetector combined with on-chip digital signal processing that is capable of counting over 1 trillion photons per second. It delivers double the data rate of the prior system on chip, while maintaining the same small size and low power draw, claimed the company. The L2X is designed to power the newest revision of Ouster’s OS sensors.
Ouster said its sensors are designed to meet its customers' performance requirements to ensure they can withstand high levels of shock, vibration, solar interference, water, and dust while reliably providing high-quality data.
Powered by the L2X chip, the company said its sensors will provide even richer point-cloud data, enabling them to detect objects through environmental obscurants such as rain, fog, dust, snow, and even a wired fence.
“Ouster sensors must be able to perform in real-world operating conditions across hundreds of use cases,” said Mark Frichtl, chief technology officer of Ouster. “Whether it’s a robotaxi driving on a foggy morning, an excavator operating in a dusty construction zone, or a last-mile delivery robot navigating through a steam vent on a NYC sidewalk, our sensors must not only be mechanically reliable and robust, but also reliably output high-quality data.”
“With the new L2X chip, Ouster has achieved another key milestone on its product roadmap with the ability to reliably detect objects behind obscurants,” he said. “We designed the new L2X chip to perform better within all types of weather conditions, further demonstrating the inherent advantage of digital lidar.”
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