Of all the funny stories in the self-driving car world, surely one of the most improbable is the transformation of Velodyne from a subwoofer manufacturer into the world’s premier lidar supplier.
Lidar, an array of lasers, is the key to tracking and understanding the environment around a vehicle, at least until computers get good enough to do this with a camera.
The San Francisco Chronicle has a short writeup of how Dave Hall transformed his audio company into an autonomous sensor company, and I’d love to read the book-length version. It involves the DARPA Grand Challenge and a tinkerer on “the lunatic fringe”. The story is an old-school inventor’s dream.
Also? Velodyne is a Udacity hiring partner.