Velodyne & NVIDIA Partner in Austin, Better Watch Out for Intel

Velodyne is bringing its Intelligent Infrastructure Solution to Austin, where NVIDIA is launching the Metropolis program, a Smart City partnership. Velodyne’s LiDAR and AI software will be running on the edge on NVIDIA’s Jetson AGX Xavier GPU workstations to create a 3D perception system that can detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists and determine their trajectories in real time. 

We recently wrote about Velodyne’s new LiDAR, and it seems to have already landed a big project. LiDAR-based traffic monitoring is a reliable, non-intrusive multi-modal replacement for inductive-loop detectors, cameras, and radars used in traffic control. On a side note, Velodyne’s CEO has just resigned

We also recently wrote about NoTraffic, the intersection-control startup. NoTraffic also uses NVIDIA’s Jetson platform. Will NoTraffic be joining the Metropolis Project or has Velodyne made them redundant? 

NVIDIA has filed patent applications for vehicle control, but none for traffic control. There are a couple of parking applications, but that’s not going to help. NoTraffic, as we mentioned, currently only has one patent to protect its technology, but it could run on another GPU. NVIDIA seems to be putting itself in the precarious position of creating the system without protecting the intellectual property. 

Advanced Micro Devices, the main GPU competitor to NVIDIA, had a single traffic control application, but it is now abandoned. Intel, on the other hand, has been patenting traffic control solutions in earnest since 2015 – it even has drone stoplights. Intel also manufactures GPUs and has the potential to expand rapidly to compete with NVIDIA for this market niche. 

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